When Couples Approach Divorce As a Team

divorce takes teamwork

Divorce takes teamwork. In many ways, I think it takes even more teamwork to get divorced than it does to get married or stay married (many marriages survive on autopilot).

Divorce brings questions, and issues that need to be worked out. Not at all limited to the following:

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?
Etc.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be an ugly process. And 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…..

“He said…”
“She did…”
“He’s a….”
“She thinks…”

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 your 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 its possessions.

In the event that it’s impossible for a couple to work things out between them, a mediator can be of great assistance. Mediators are neutral third parties who are there to facilitate conversation and empower couples to construct creative solutions to meet their family’s needs. Mediators don’t take sides, and they aren’t there to tell a couple what to do.

If mediation isn’t an appropriate option, the next-best thing is to explore the option of a collaborative divorce. This option utilizes an even larger team including lawyers, a financial professional, and a therapist. While each person has his/her own attorney, meetings are held for all team members, and decisions are made jointly.

Whatever process you choose for your divorce, remember that the more you and your STBX can work together, the lower your costs will be and the smoother your transition will feel.

 

PS… If you’d like to discuss how you might benefit from coaching (with or without your STBX), let’s talk. Schedule a consultation and I’ll call you at your requested time.

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