Knowledge Hub | Articles

26 July 2021

International day of friendship – how to divorce and remain friends

In anticipation of the International Day of Friendship on 30 July 2021, we want to talk about friendship, and specifically friendship after divorce.

Divorce is rarely easy, but a shared spirit of human solidarity in the promotion of friendship can help face this.

A primary aim of family lawyers is to try to ensure divorce matters are dealt with as amicably as possible for the benefit of all those involved and will encourage, where appropriate, that ex-partners try to remain friends (particularly where there are children). This can save a lot of time and money, but also helps to reduce some of the emotional upset.

Here are some tips we believe helps achieve an amicable separation and to encourage friendship between divorcing couples:

  • Acceptance.

Accept that your relationship is no longer romantic in nature. This may include giving yourself some time and space to grieve for what has now ended. When both you and your ex-partner are ready, try taking small steps to build up this new platonic relationship.

For example, meeting with mutual friends, or engaging in shared interests and hobbies. This can be as part of a large or small group, or as just the two of you depending on how comfortable you both are with the new situation.

Remember that you and your ex-partner remain the same people, even after divorce, and may still share a lot in common that can help form the basis of a platonic relationship.

  • Putting children first.

Where you and your ex-partner have children, it is crucial their needs and interests come first. This is vital for their wellbeing. However, it can also benefit you and your ex-partner, as it shifts the focus onto the good parts of your past relationship and can help to build a strong foundation for your new relationship.

For example, try to attend events for the children together, such as your child’s nativity play, a recital, school parents’ evenings.

  • Not arguing over the little things.

Always keep an eye on the bigger picture, and the longer-term. This is particularly important when it comes to resolving financial matters with your ex-partner. In most cases there is very little to be gained by arguing over who gets a particular item, playing a blame-game about past events, or making accusations about each other. If you and your ex-partner can keep such matters at bay, you will be able to move on and develop your new relationship much faster, and without increasing any emotional distress.

  • Get the right support.

Having family members and friends in your corner can help you through life’s difficult moments, but ask them to also support you in your decision to try to remain friends with your ex-partner. Your friends and family want you to be happy; anger will only delay that.

So, don’t be tempted to surround yourself with hostility; good support comes from those who promote positivity and forward thinking.

Instructing the right family lawyer to support you is key here too and helps ensure matters are dealt with as amicable and efficiently as possible.

Our family team have a wealth of experience to help, advice and support you through your divorce. If you would like to discuss matters with a member of our team, please call 01753 279046, or email sue.andrews@bpcollins.co.uk.

You can also follow our family team's Instagram here: @familylawyers_bpc

Sue Andrews

Sue Andrews

Tel: 01753 279046

Hannah Yellop

Hannah Yellop

Tel: 01753 278688 | 07816 170413

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