This week I am reminded why Divorce Essentials and the Divorce CompanionTM exist – because having an amicable divorce is an imperative.
I recently got a call from a client who was shedding desperate tears after a judge was so harsh on her and her attorneys that she left the courtroom feeling completely disempowered and helpless. In debriefing with my client, there was a palpable sense of victimization, as though the process had truly broken down and there was nothing she could do to improve her situation.
This sense of disempowerment is exactly the experience that Divorce Essentials and Divorce CompanionTM are designed to alleviate. And this is an imperative…
At a time when family structures change so frequently, placing critical decisions that affect the health and welfare of parents and children in the hands of an overworked and under-resourced court system leaves everyone more broken than whole.
The reason why divorce cases end up in court is because parties cannot resolve issues on their own. Sometimes this is because one partner has been more powerful in the marriage and the other is afraid. Sometimes this is because there is anger and people are looking to the divorce process to punish their partner or provide restitution for pain and suffering. Sometimes couples use the court system because they think it is the best way to get a fair ruling.
The truth is that marriage and family is the most intimate aspect of anyone’s life and there is no way that a legal system can possibly bring satisfactory resolution to issues in this area. Let’s face it, having 10, 20 or 30 years of marriage and all that has meant placed on one side of the scale against the bank account, furniture, and 401k can be one of the most painful and demoralizing experiences one can have. How do you place value on having cared for someone when they were sick or the efforts and sacrifices made to support a family? No, there is a no way a legal system can offer the penetrating resolution that most couples are looking for.
What we do know, however, is that when a case ends up in a courtroom, partners give up control over their destiny and they end up spending a lot more money to become unmarried.
And this is why I created Divorce Essentials and the Divorce CompanionTM. There has to be a better way. As Albert Einstein said, “You cannot resolve a problem with the same mindset that created it.” Taking the anger that has erupted during the breakdown of the marriage and fueling it with the adversarial nature of family court, can only make the problem worse. It can seem enticing to turn the problem over to someone else, but to hope that a court system with few resources and little time will accomplish what a couple could not do on their own – a fair settlement that truly honors the best interests of the children and empowers both partners to move on with their lives – makes no sense at all.
What this means is that the burden of achieving a non-adversarial outcome in divorce is – where it rightly belongs – on the couple who chose to marry. While this may seem like an impossible task… How can two people who have been arguing and making each other feel badly achieve this?… It is not.
The way to achieve the seemingly impossible is by reaching for the appropriate support. Every couple who has ever achieved the amicable divorce, succeeded in doing so because they (a) made the choice to achieve it and (b) found the resources and support they needed. This is how my husband and I did it and how every couple who has ever achieved this got there.
There is nothing easy about it. Divorce is one of the most difficult life transitions that there is, and yet, it is possible to do it well. Like raising a child, it takes a village of personal and professional support. And it takes the right kind of support. It takes the support of people who are deeply committed to helping you find a healthy path to a positive future. Your team may include a coach, an attorney, a mediator, a therapist, a clergy person, your best friend, a realtor, a coworker… But the team members that will get you there are the ones that push you to show up as your best self, not the ones who fuel the flames of anger and fear. And YOU are responsible for determining WHO is on your team.
Here are some questions to help you find your way:
If you are considering divorce, ask yourself this question, “What do I most need right now to help me get unstuck and take deliberate and intentional steps in a healthy direction?”
If you are building your divorce support team (legal, emotional, financial), ask yourself, “What are the qualities of the professionals, friends and family members who will help me achieve what I most want?”
If you are navigating divorce, as yourself, “How am I showing up to this divorce process? What do I need to do to be a person I feel proud of in this process?
And if you are truly committed to staying out of court and allowing this process to become a reflection of your BEST self rather than you WORST self, we are here to support you.
- If you are considering or just beginning to pursue divorce, check out the Divorce CompanionTM – the most comprehensive resource available to support a healthy divorce process.
- If you are anywhere in the divorce process and are committed to a deliberate and mindful process and would like support in achieving this, let’s chat.
Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce. The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.
Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.