Achieving a Better Divorce/M. Marcy Jones, Esq.

Posted on December 11, 2010


Yes, it is possible to achieve a better divorce, but, as you probably know by now if you are in the midst of this process, it’s not easy. It takes consistent effort and intention to make your divorce the best it can be under your particular circumstances.

It’s like preparing for surgery. If you exercise and lose some weight before your surgery, you’re likely to have a quicker and less painful recovery. It’s the same with divorce. If you prepare and anticipate and take consistent action to keep your divorce on the track you choose, you (and your children!) are likely to have a quicker and less painful recovery from the experience. It still won’t be easy, but it will be better.

In Part I of this series you learned about “the Big Picture view.” You learned why it’s important and how to get your own Big Picture out of your head and down on paper. Now you have this to go back to when you need to. And, trust me, there will be times when you completely forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. It can be a crazy time, and sometimes you just forget where you are, how you got there, and why. Having this written out in detail will serve you well and make all the difference as you hit the bumps along the way. If you haven’t done this yet, go and do it now.

The second step to achieving a better divorce is this:

Become informed about your process choices and how they work, and decide which one is best for your situation and circumstances.

What do I mean by “process choices?” This is the method you use to go through your divorce. Will you and your spouse go to mediation? Will you each hire a collaborative lawyer and go through the collaborative process? Are you and your spouse able to sit down and work everything out between the two of you, or will you hire lawyers to negotiate for you? Or are you completely unable to do any of these methods and have to go to court to get your issues resolved?

The method by which you go through your divorce is what is meant by “process choice.” In order for you to know what is best for your situation, obviously you need to know how each of these methods/processes work. This requires you to become informed about each one so you can make the best choice for your situation.

Why does this matter? If there is a process that will minimize the impact on your family—emotionally and financially—don’t you want to investigate that and know more about it? Wouldn’t it be a shame to end up in a litigated case when you and your spouse actually could have gone through the collaborative process if you had been better informed and sought out the right professionals to help you with that?

So you can see now how critical this step is. The choices you make at this stage of your divorce will definitely affect how your divorce goes. And how your divorce goes will affect how the rest of your life goes! This is absolutely true. So be proactive, and go out there and get informed!