What Have the Brexit Negotiations and Getting Divorced Got in Common?

You’d struggle to live in the United Kingdom at the moment and not be well aware of the Brexit negotiations and that the UK is leaving the EU after being a member for 44yrs. Wikipedia’s definition of Brexit is:

“Brexit is the popular term for the United Kingdom’s intended withdrawal from the European Union. In a UK referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% voted to leave the EU.”

Now, I am far from being a political person and have no intention of making comments on how Brexit came about. But the term “Brexit Divorce” used by the media has not escaped my notice. It has made me think about the similarities between the UK’s divorce from the EU and the issues my clients face in their marriage divorces.

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of divorce is:

“Divorce: legal dissolution of marriage; separation, severance of connected things.”


Here are 20 things the Brexit negotiations have in common with going through a marriage divorce:

  1. It is the end of a serious and complicated relationship.
  2. Both parties are hopeful for an amicable outcome to the formal process.
  3. Both parties are uncertain of the outcome of the negotiations.
  4. There are lots of important issues to work through and resolve to bring closure.
  5. Each party focuses on their own desired outcome.
  6. A settlement agreement is required to bring formal closure to the relationship.
  7. The two parties need to work together effectively to achieve the best overall outcome.
  8. The post-divorce relationship of the two parties is important(for personal divorces this is particularly the case where there are children).
  9. Both parties need to take advice from trusted specialists to enable them to make strong informed decisions. (To find out about the benefits of working with a divorce coach, please click here Benefits of Divorce Coaching).
  10. Both parties need to enter in to the negotiations with a positive attitude towards sensible discussions, keeping a logical, rational and realistic mindset.
  11. The process will most probably take longer than either party had hoped or anticipated.
  12. One party often thinks the other party is delaying progress being made.
  13. Neither party really wants things to have come to this, so are often apprehensive about entering in to the negotiations.
  14. Often one party wants the divorce to be complete more than the other.
  15. There are not just the parties involved that need to be considered – the decisions made will affect other people/issues(e.g. children, finances etc.).
  16. Parties outside of the situation will have an opinion (not always helpful) as to what the parties should be doing which can complicate the negotiations for the parties themselves.
  17. Most probably, neither party has past experience in this process – this is new territory for both parties and each are finding their way as to how to move things forward.
  18. Both parties need to think about the consequences of their decisions and actions during the negotiations and the effect these could have on the future for each party.
  19. Getting to the end of the formal process costs more money than either party had hoped it would.
  20. There is lots of pressure on the important decision making and both parties are wanting to make the right decisions for themselves and know they can’t change their mind once the settlement is reached.


As a divorce consultant, I work with individuals at all stages of the separation and divorce process. Many of my clients have described their biggest challenge being the lack of certainty of what their future will look like after the divorce. (This is quite similar to what many of my friends and colleagues have mentioned about living in the UK post-Brexit). For me, it is important for my clients to understand the divorce process, be made aware of their different options and to receive the right support and guidance to help them make strong informed decisions about their situation. To find out what some of my clients have said about how I have helped them, click here Client Testimonials.


If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you will find lots more in my ebook “Tips for Coping with Divorce” which you can download here: free ebook.

By signing up you will also receive my monthly newsletter with more free advice on different aspects of divorce.