The Amicable Divorce

(This is in reference to Belrix and Foxy40’s threads. It should not in any way be read into my marriage…it’s doing pretty damn good now.)

My inlaws had a pretty rotten divorce. FIL went to work one morning, came home to an empty house and no money. MIL had a ‘friend’ whispering in her ear through the whole thing. I suspect the ‘friend’ was living vicariously through mom. As soon as the ink was dry, the ‘friend’ disappeared, never to be hear from again.

In this case, the only people that came out ahead were the lawyers. And they did very well.

Knowing the bad, I was curious what percentage of divorces are amicable? And by amicable I mean: $400 in filing costs, split up the stuff into two moving vans, two bank accounts, go on your merry way.

It seems like it’s a pretty rare occurence.

I had an extremely amicable divorce. We’re agreed on who would get what, used a paralegal service to draw up the documents, filed them, and went on our merry ways. We’re both remarried and quite happily so; last time I was in his city, I went to dinner with him and the new wife. It was very pleasant. We’re still friends today; we email occasionally and keep each other up on family members and such.

Sometimes it is possible to move on from a relationship without a lot of heartache.

I did it, except it was only $120 in filing costs. Whatever his other faults were (and there were plenty) I feel that we both handled the divorce with honor. He slipped me money that he didn’t have to to get me back on my feet at first too.

He didn’t start being a real bastard to me until after he remarried, and that’s only once in a while, to be honest. Of course, I did find out later that I probably should have had a lawyer and if I had, I probably wouldn’t still be in the position of not being able to buy a house (while making a comparable income) and yet somehow he can. Hindsight. It was worth it to me at the time to cut my losses and get out, and it was utterly important to do it while minimizing damage to the kids.

My parents had an exceedingly amicable divorce. To this day, they still maintain that they love one another very deeply, they just can’t live together.

They had an exceedingly polite marriage, as well. As in, they fought once in 14 years. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. I “caused” that fight, and still feel an incredible amount of guilt over it. Because it was the only one, and they divorced soon after, I absolutely thought that A. a fight = a divorce and B. I made them divorce. It’s taken me about 20 years to be comfortable with even a small amount of expressed anger - I used to go throw up in the bathroom if another couple was arguing across the room at a restaurant.

But I digress. The divorce was very polite, as was the ensuing custody/visitation arrangement and the child support payments. I was the only thing that held them together in any sort of contact. They still ask me how the other one is doing, honestly hoping to hear good news with no real bitterness.

By your defination, we had exactly $400 in attorney fees, a moving van (or a friend’s truck, I honestly have no clue how he got his stuff out of my house), and new bank accounts.

But amicable?, not really. I think I may have thrown something at him at least once. There was infidelity. The belief that I was keeping the “three of us” from having a happy Poly marriage. A few phone calls about stuff he left behind that I supposedly hid. Stuff he took that was mine that I’ll never get back (the only thing I care about was the photos from my trip to Europe that were in the box with his photos) One completely unreasonable phone call when I cancelled “our” credit cards, another when he discovered he couldn’t sit on my insurance forever, and another when he got served at work (which really perhaps, was not fair, but what was I supposed to do? It costs a lot of money to serve papers, I had to get where he would be right the first time.) The final one was years after when he discovered a quit claim deed did not, in fact, remove his mortgage liability and I owned the house, but WE still held the mortgage.

Haven’t talked to him in years. Don’t care enough about him now to wish him good or ill.

We used a “no fault” attorney - the guy represented me only, but it was no fault and no fighting. Roughly $400 in the fee and filing costs split evenly. Met a couple nights to split up the household stuff. Had sex a few times while we were doing it. While we were sweeping up the last of the stuff the radio played Vince Gill’s “A Bad Goodbye” and we laughed through the awkwardness (“I’m bound to leave you…I can’t leave you with a bad goodbye”). We agreed on joint custody and no child support - everything split down the middle. I met his new girlfriends, he met my boyfriend. We were going to have dinner together, just the four of us. We had many healthy, self-affirming talks about our son having four good parents instead of two bad one.

Later the shit hit the fan when he went downhill quickly (been thinking about a pit thread last couple days, in fact). I now have full custody and can refuse visitation any time I suspect him of drinking and only agreed to unsupervised once he joined a treatment program.

It can be done. The hard part is keeping it up past the “amicable divorce honeymoon” - at least that’s what my second lawyer said when I went back for full custody after the drinking took him over.

My brother had four amicable divorces. He seemed to think that he had to marry everyone he slept with, and he didn’t like living alone. He was a nice guy and a good earner so must have seemed like a good catch.

I don’t know what went wrong in the marriages. No marriage lasted more than a couple of years. He stayed friends with all of his exes. I don’t know if he ever truly “loved” any of them, or if they loved him. He never seemed particularly upset when a marriage ended.

I’ve had two no-fault divorces. One was quite friendly. My first husband and I parted friends. His second wife hates me for it. She thinks if he doesn’t hate me, he wants me back. They live in Florida, I live in Seattle.
My second was not so amicable, but it was no-fault for less than $200. He was crazy.
(bi-polar, untreated) I got him out, changed the locks, and sold the condo. I moved several times, changing my phone number each time, to keep him out of my life.

At present, I’m happily married for the final time.

I’ve been amicably divorced for just over a year. We filed the paperwork ourselves ($70 total), figured out the child support amounts using the online calculator at the state website, and pay no real attention to the visitation guidelines: I see the kids pretty much whenever I like. I still consider her my best friend, and that isn’t just in the “sure, we’re still friends” sense; we hang out together a lot, enough so that it’s probably hampering my dating life. What can you do?

From my perspective, the true test of how amicable a divorce is going to stay is when one of the former spouses remarries. Especially when new kids ensue. Can’t tell you how many times I see situations where everything was fine, but then a new spouse resents time/money spent on the former family. Feelings get hurt. Litigation then ensues…

Then again, people usually don’t contact a lawyer to talk about how well things are going in their lives. Could be that I just never see the cases where things work out…

Very amicable. I kept the house and refinanced so I could give her half of the equity. We put everything else on a spreadsheet and gave it a value (except for the small stuff which we just split up over a couple of days). I kept the tax refund checks and put it in the spread sheet and I ended up owing her $101 so I took her out to a very nice dinner and we called it even.

Filing fees were a few hundred bucks and we got a lawyer to draw up the agreement and fill out the forms for us. Two hours of the lawyers time was $500. This laywer had done hundreds of mediated divorces and the previous record was three hours. We had the papers back and approved from the Court before the six month waiting period was up which supposedly is a rarity.

She lived with me rent free for two months until she found a place to rent and I helped her move and set up her computer for her. When she bought her new condo, I was the first one she invited over for dinner. We still talk all the time and she comes over to the house all the time (mostly to visit the dog though, I’m not always there and she has keys.) We’re going to see Lou Reed together in a few weeks.

It can be done.

My divorce was pretty amicable, after the initial few weeks of bitterness. We both used our former neighbor/mutual friend as a divorce attorney, and it cost my ex $100. He kept the house; I kept most of the furniture and the cat. We stayed in touch for a while, sometimes even joking about our marriage and divorce.

It was amicable enough that a year afterward, he drove three hours to be a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral, even as his own father lay in intensive care. That was one of the most generous, kind and gracious things anyone has ever done for me.

We had no children, so that might have made it easier. He remarried several years ago, and has a couple of step-kids and a daughter of his own. He actually took his new wife to meet my mother. I stopped contact about that time, as I didn’t want the new wife to feel that I was intruding. But I still think about him from time to time, and with only good thoughts.

My cousin isn’t divorced, just separated with no apparent intent to divorce even though he’s got a girlfriend (relatively common in Spain, where until 30 years ago the only possible divorce was “going for tobacco”). They still consider each other as best friends; when he’s in town she usually comes to any conferences.

It’s a case where I absolutely understand the “not being able to live together”, though. He’s a professional mountain climber and when he isn’t in the himalayas calling home at the most God-awful hours after not having done so for a month, he’s at home spending 12hr/day walking up and down the local mountains for “practice”; eats like an elephant (green and lots of it); leaves a worse mess than any elephant would. She’s a banker (very neat as is usually the case with these) and would like to get something more than “hey honey, what’s for dinner?” from her husband.

Some more stories here…

Thanks guys. This has been a interesting thread, if only because it’s something I try not to think about. Face it, if the relationship is sound, but rocky, the thought does cross one’s mind, but when things start to level out, dwelling on it isn’t healthy.

My parents had a completely amicable divorce. First they legally separated, and worked out the legal benefits and allocations with a good lawyer, and then filed for divorce soon after.

Dad still comes over to visit, do jobs around the house, hang out and spend time with Mum. They’re still best friends and they do love each other–they’re just not in love anymore.

It’s the best arrangement I could’ve imagined.