Bill & Melinda’s How To Divorce Amicably

5 May, 2021

No sooner had Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce, I was contacted by a media organisation asking me to comment on whether there is ever such a thing as an amicable divorce. I’ve been a family lawyer for over 20 years and I can honestly say…yes, but it takes work.

What’s In Store If I Divorce?

Obviously, I’m a lawyer not a psychologist. But it does seem to me that the end of any meaningful relationship involves heartache, stress and disagreement. Different people deal with that in different ways. Some show incredible dignity whilst in others divorce and separation reveal something darker. I think it’s safer to assume that disagreements will arise. Divorce is rarely a harmonious conscious uncoupling on the path to personal happiness and fulfilment. I have little doubt that behind their public statements, the Gates have had their fair share of difficult conversations.


Dignity In Divorce

So, what can couples do to avoid their divorce descending into an exhausting and expensive war of emotional attrition? Counsellors and life coaches will have much to say about that. But for me, one crucial aspect to think about is to choose your divorce lawyer carefully.


Family lawyers can’t always avoid disagreements, but they can influence the divorce process positively or negatively. They can help make a difficult situation easier or an amicable relationship sour. I never tire of helping people through what is usually the most difficult part of their lives. That doesn’t mean I appease aggressors – quite the contrary. Sometimes it is necessary to fight for what is right and fair. But my starting point is that I will not start a dispute where no dispute need be started.


How To Choose a Family Lawyer

I often tell clients that divorce and separation is usually reasonable people doing their best in unreasonable situations. When you have unreasonable people in that mix things get more challenging. Who we surround ourselves with at the lowest points in our lives has a profound impact on what happens. So, my advice is shop around and choose your divorce lawyer carefully. Someone trustworthy, who will help you be your best self. Someone who will stand up for you and speak clearly. And someone who will give sound advice if a storm breaks.

If you want to discuss how I would approach your divorce or separation contact me on or 07827 961826.