How to Have a Competent Divorce

How to Have a Competent Divorce


Does the term “competent divorce” sound like an oxymoron? Like “legal brief” or “jumbo shrimp”? We define a competent divorce as one in which the parents communicate and cooperate in a business-like way for the sake of their children.

The following elements are needed in order to have a competent divorce

  • Parents put the children’s needs ahead of their own
  • Parents keep the children out of the middle
  • Parents make sure there is no interruption in parenting
  • Parents work cooperatively
  • Parents relate to each other in a business-like way.

Most everyone has had the experience of successfully doing business with someone they don’t like. The skills and strategies that one uses in order to do so include: 1) sticking to the business at hand; 2) taking one issue at a time; 3) focusing on the present and future, not the past; 4) leaving out the emotions and 5) listening carefully. Even if you don’t particularly like the children’s other parent, you still have to do business together. While you are no longer together as mates, you are partners in the parenting of your children and will be for the rest of your lives. By utilizing the skills and strategies described above, you can maintain at least a business-like relationship with each other.

We encourage you to think about what YOU can do to help create a competent divorce with your children’s other parent.