When you married your spouse, you married your best friend. Unfortunately, you turned out to be better friends than spouses, so you’re now seeking a divorce — but you’d hate to see your friendship dissolve along with your union.

Is it possible to have a friendly divorce? Absolutely. When a couple really puts their mind toward an amicable split and both parties have similar end goals for their relationship, anything is possible. Here are the things you need to do to make it happen:

  1. Make sure that you’ve exhausted other options. If you haven’t given counseling a chance, you may want to try it before you go any further. Even if it doesn’t preserve your marriage, it can help you gain some emotional distance from the situation that will serve you well during the upcoming months.
  2. Stay kind and be respectful toward each other. It’s inherently stressful to engage in a “war of words” with someone — especially when that someone is your spouse. If you unleash your anger (or, worse, your contempt) on your spouse, it will probably sour your negotiations entirely and make for hostile interactions over every small detail of your divorce.
  3. Consider the alternatives to a litigated divorce. The odds are high that you and your spouse won’t entirely agree on every issue that has to be decided. That does not mean that litigation is inevitable. A mediated divorce or a collaborative divorce can both allow you and your spouse to control the narrative of your split and stay out of court.

If you’re ready to end your marriage but you still want to preserve an amicable relationship with your spouse so that you can remain friends when this is over, find out how mediation can help.