What Is an Amicable Divorce and How Does It Work?

Is it possible to get a divorce…and still remain friends?

Not every divorce has to end up with a prolonged court battle. The good news is that most divorcing couples don’t want their lives to mirror a tawdry television show. They recognize that their marriage has come to an end, but are wise enough not to spread the hurt around, especially if they have children.

The solution, then, is something called an amicable, or friendly divorce. And while the couple still needs to consult with a divorce lawyer or attorney, they will primarily be working with a divorce mediator. 

How is a divorce lawyer different from other types of lawyers?

A divorce lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in family law. This includes divorce, annulment, and legal separation. A divorce lawyer in Connecticut is also conversant with adoption, and certain kinds of estate planning and prenuptial agreements.

Divorce lawyers are known for their client advocacy. They are keen negotiators and strategists. In the case of a contentious divorce, a divorce lawyer may represent a client in court, and help resolve complex issues that include child custody and spousal support. 

What is a divorce mediator?

If you have decided on an amicable, or friendly divorce, you should work with a divorce mediator who is a neutral third party. You should use an attorney trained in mediation as opposed to someone who is just a mediator. This is because a divorce mediation attorney can provide the legal information needed to address all aspects of divorce including:

marital property division

child support

alimony and marital division calculations

division of retirement assets such as deferred compensation plans and pension plans

Unlike a divorce lawyer the goal of a divorce mediator is to facilitate a low-key end to the couple’s marriage. Although any divorce can have contentious, pain- and rage-filled moments, a divorce mediator is skilled at keeping hurt feelings at bay. Instead, she focuses on finding a sustainable, viable outcome.

The goal here is to end your marriage in a manner that is easier on the children, reasonably friendly, and cost-effective. A divorce mediator also makes sure that the settlement is enforceable by Connecticut divorce law and statutes.

While the goal is to have an amicable, or friendly, divorce, it’s not necessarily an easy process. During divorce mediation, sometimes agreements come easy, sometimes they take time and a lot of give and take. The divorce mediator intervenes when the process stalls or tempers rise. 

  • It is the divorce mediator’s job to 
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Encourage positive problem-solving behaviors and solutions.
  • Assist the couple in their decision-making process.

One plus of divorce mediation is that it focuses on positive outcomes. That’s why it’s also called an amicable, or friendly, divorce. The process is flexible and confidential. Working with a divorce mediator allows both of you to settle conflict in a way that establishes a positive ongoing relationship post-divorce. This is critical if you have children, and it will also help both of you heal as well. 

Another plus is that unlike a traditional divorce, where the opposing sides can become conflict-driven, a divorce mediator is neutral. She does not “work” or “side with” either spouse. 

Using a divorce mediator is voluntary. You can choose to hire a divorce mediator or a traditional divorce attorney. Both should be well-versed in family law and the key issues that you as a couple, and a family, are dealing with. 

If you are interested in an amicable, or friendly divorce, or you would like to speak with a traditional divorce attorney, please call CT Mediation Center. Our Connecticut-based legal team can answer your questions about divorce, legal separation, child and spousal support.

Collaborative Divorce Attorney and Divorce Mediator Angela Green

Attorney Green works exclusively with couples or parties who would rather spend their energies and resources working constructively to resolve their differences rather than "winning the fight." She helps spouses and litigants reach comprehensive, well informed agreements without the emotional and financial toll of court-based litigation. She has mediated hundreds of cases ranging from simple to complex financial matters, businesses, and high net worth cases.