There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as an easy divorce.
Why? Because divorce marks the death of a relationship. The death of a dream. The death of a hope for an anticipated future. So no matter how “done” you are with the relationship, the actual divorce isn’t easy at any level. And… it has unanticipated costs at every level: financial (division of property, attorney fees, fees of other professionals and costs of court); relational (friends and loved-ones take sides or abandon both spouses because they “do not want to be involved”); emotional (even if you have longed for the day of physical separation to end the ever-present tension within the household, you will find yourself in the midst of an unquenchable emptiness, almost at a loss to know how to fill the very silence and absence of tension you so longed for). Divorcing couples never anticipate any of this and when advised that it will happen in one form or the other, deny it will happen to them.
That is one of the ways the Collaborative Divorce process is so effective. Your collaboratively trained lawyer knows to look for the signs and helps you avoid sabotaging yourself and your divorce process as you move through the stages. When you and your spouse are at different stages of “divorce grief”, your lawyer can help you manage the impatience the “farther along” spouse feels with the “foot dragging” spouse. The Collaborative Divorce process provides, where agreed between the spouses, for the inclusion of a collaboratively trained mental health professional either privately or within the collaborative joint sessions to manage not just the emotions but the actual conversations during the meeting. Often, with this help, spouses learn for the first time how poorly they communicate within their marriage (and other relationships?). This new knowledge can lead to better communication skills in all future relationships including one’s relationship with one’s former spouse.
The adversarial litigated divorce model does not focus on these aspects. Fighting for a client’s rights and getting the biggest slice of the community pie one can get does not accommodate these conciliatory considerations. The adversarial litigated divorce model takes a process which was not easy to begin with and makes it devastating, leaving wounds which are difficult to heal and even when healed, which leave scars which impact a spouse’s future relationships.
No, there is no easy divorce. But there is a process which seeks to be kinder, more reasonable, more dignified and less destructive. It is the Collaborative Divorce process.
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