Most people think of an apology as a way of working out problems prior to divorce. Is it really necessary or effective to apologize in the middle of a divorce? The answer could depend on whether it’s wise to admit fault, the reason for the apology, and the type of process in which your divorce is being handled. Look at the circumstances of your divorce and decide if and when an apology is best.
From a legal standpoint, an apology may not be best
Don’t say anything to hurt your case. Saying anything incriminating yourself or an apology relating to the case may not be a good move. Anything you say or do can be used against you in the divorce. Attorneys will search your social media profile or online presence for evidence to use against you, so be careful what you say in ANY location, in person, on the telephone or online. Save the apology for after things are cooled down and the divorce is finalized if you think it might hurt your case.
Apologize for closure or to build a co-parenting relationship
Apologizing may be best while going through marital counseling or co-parent counseling. Think about the children and what’s best for them. Children watch and sense how their parents deal with each other. An apology may be the best action for a fresh start with the other parent. It may also be what the other person needs to transition from a romantic partner to a more business-like role as co-parents. BUT, don’t do anything without consulting your attorney first and making sure it is not going to be at a time that it would hurt your position in your case.
An apology could help both parties come to a divorce settlement
In a collaborative divorce, an apology will likely not hurt your case because everything in the collaborative process is confidential. But, again, you must coordinate with your attorney before making any revelations in case there is a chance that the case will not be settled in the collaborative process and will go to litigation. A collaborative divorce has a team that wants the best for both parties. No one should walk away feeling slighted. In a collaborative case, the mental health professional could recommend talking and resolving issues with their guidance and encouragement. Having a team working in harmony for a smooth divorce process, which may include an apology, could set the tone for an amicable separation. It could help move things forward in the right direction for everyone.
Before you extend an apology, make sure it’s the right thing to do. Don’t make the move out of emotion. Make sure you mean what you’re saying. Also make sure it’s the best decision for your case. Talk to your counselor and attorney to decide the best action and time to apologize. Your attorney has your best interests at heart and will give good advice on the safest way to apologize.