What Is an Amicable Divorce?

Posted in Divorce on May 2, 2022

While the purpose of a divorce is to end a relationship, this doesn’t mean the process has to be fraught with tension, fighting or litigation. It may be possible to come to a reasonable and amicable (good-natured) agreement with your ex-spouse through dialogue, cooperation and negotiation. This is known as an amicable divorce, and it can save you time, money and stress. Find out if this type of divorce is right for you by consulting with a Solana Beach divorce lawyer about your relationship in more detail.

An Amicable Divorce Means No Litigation

An amicable divorce in California is a dissolution of marriage that does not involve litigation or going to court because the couple is agreeable. It means that a couple can successfully compromise with each other on a divorce settlement agreement. If a couple can agree on the essential terms of a divorce, including the division of marital property and debts, parenting time, and child and spousal support, they can achieve an amicable divorce. This type of divorce can be achieved in a few different ways:

  • Uncontested divorce
  • Default divorce
  • Collaborative divorce
  • Divorce mediation
  • Divorce arbitration

While the exact process may look different, these types of divorce are similar in that the couple manages to communicate and work together on what life will look like after the divorce. An amicable divorce is generally cheaper than litigating a case at trial. It is also less time-consuming and generally less stressful for the entire family – especially children – as it involves less fighting.

What Are the Requirements for an Amicable Divorce in California?

To achieve an amicable divorce in California, both parties must agree on the key terms of the dissolution of marriage. This means the couple must successfully separate their property, determine what to do with the family home, create a detailed parenting plan or visitation schedule if there are children involved, agree on the exact amount of child support and who will pay, and decide on the issue of alimony.

If there is contention or disagreement on any aspect of the divorce, an amicable divorce cannot be achieved. An amicable divorce is more likely if a couple has little to no marital property and no kids together. Typically, as long as the terms of a divorce are legal, are not unduly biased toward one party and protect the best interests of the children, a judge will sign off on the agreement and finalize the divorce without requiring a trial.

Tips for an Amicable Divorce

If an amicable divorce is something that you want, consider what it will take. You and your ex-spouse will need to be able to have polite, civilized conversations, for example, and be willing to compromise on the terms of the divorce. Use these tips to increase the odds of an amicable divorce in California:

  • Keep an open mind. An amicable divorce is all about compromise and communication. You may not be able to achieve this without keeping an open mind during settlement negotiations.
  • Use an intermediary to facilitate conversations with your ex-spouse. An attorney or mediator can see things in a different way, possibly coming up with creative solutions that you would not on your own.
  • Try mediation or nonbinding arbitration. Try alternative dispute resolution methods, such as a meeting with a mediator or arbitrator, for assistance with conflict resolution.
  • Hire a divorce lawyer. An amicable divorce is more likely if you have an attorney representing you. An attorney can help you effectively communicate with your ex-spouse while still protecting your rights.

An amicable divorce can have several benefits for you and your family. However, it is not the right choice or even possible for every couple in California. Some divorce cases have to go to trial to be successfully resolved. To discuss your specific case with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer and learn more about an amicable divorce, contact Ratzer|Dobis to request a free consultation in Solana Beach.