It takes more teamwork to get divorced than it does to get married or stay married. With divorce comes a lot of issues that couples need to work through together:
Who gets the couch?
Who pays the medical bills?
What happens to the house?
Who is going to explain this to the insurance company?
Who does the filing?
How to tell the kids….
It doesn’t have to be ugly. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
A friend once told me, “If [the ex] could have been honest about how she felt about me, things would have gone much smoother.” It’s true. Too often people let their emotions get the best of them. They feel wronged, vengeful or scared and they take those emotions to the streets, to the phone, to the internet, to the children…..
Such outcries accomplish little when there’s so much work to be done. This is why divorce attorneys make a ridiculous amount of money off their angry clients: because they spend lots of time sifting through the unloading of emotional baggage and then align themselves with the client’s goal to “get” the kids, the house, the pension, the fine china, etc. Isn’t it funny that we are willing to pay someone else hundreds of dollars an hour over a period of months/years to accomplish something that we could do for free if we checked our emotions at the door and held a civilized conversation with the person we once promised to love and honor forever?
I’m a huge fan of honesty and civilized conversation. If two people can honestly admit that they no longer want to be married, then they realize that they are each aligned with the same ultimate goal: to dissolve the marriage and move on in separate directions. From here, they can determine the necessary steps to take in reaching that goal.
Is the transition easy? No. Will there be anger and tears? Yes. Confusion? Of course. Disagreements? Absolutely. But like any other job- the work needs to be done. The discussions will happen either way- putting lawyers and judges in the middle only adds to the financial tab. Furthermore, these strangers can’t possibly know the full story and because of this, are incapable of making the best decision about the fate of a family and it’s possessions.
In the event that it’s impossible for a couple to work things out between them, a mediator can be of great assistance. Keep in mind that if children are involved, the previous partners will be tied together for a long time to come. It’s important to develop effective communication strategies and parenting objectives/tactics to practice between households.
Divorce doesn’t solve all our problems, but it does allow us the mobility to view them from a different perspective. And it takes teamwork. Personally, I passed on the option of the high-priced courtroom player. I’d rather be my own star performer. You know what they say about wanting a job done right…