The recently announced divorce of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has spotlighted an increasingly visible trend among celebrity divorces-the amicable divorce. Forget about messy legal battles in court, in full view of the press and the public-celebrities now choose to end their marriages quietly, with little fuss, while prioritizing their children.

Think back to the recent conscious uncoupling of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. The actress and the rock star decided to end their marriage in a way that was free from hostility or negativity and focused on the role of the family, prioritizing their children’s best interests.

An amicable divorce is a divorce in which both of the parties will agree to set aside all negativity and hostility, and work towards resolving all of the issues that need resolution in a divorce, like child custody, spousal support, division of assets, and other matters. They will attempt to resolve these issues in a mutually acceptable environment, respectful of each other’s concerns, and aware of the need to avoid litigation.

When litigation enters the picture, there is the increased potential for hostility, and negativity between the spouses. That is traumatic for the children involved. In an amicable divorce, couples may decide to use a mediator or attorney to help them resolve their differences, or try a collaborative divorce, which involves an out-of-court, mutual agreement, possibly with the help of attorneys and mediators, without going to court and trusting a judge to make decisions for them.

For an amicable divorce to work, couples must prioritize the children, and agree on the need to avoid making the end of the marriage traumatic for children. If couples continue to insist on getting their own way, and want to be stubborn about settling matters, the divorce is hardly likely to be amicable.

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