Are You Ready For Divorce?/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on July 27, 2013

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A recent blog post that made its way to mediate.com website is entitled: “Are You Ready For Divorce: The 8 Questions You Need to Ask”. In this piece, authors Dr. Bruce Derman and Ms. Wendy Gregson discuss the question of how you know if you are ready, psychologically and emotionally, for divorce. I will focus on the question I consider most important:

Can you handle the unpleasant consequences of divorce?

A divorce is a traumatic loss to many. It ends what may be the most intense love relationship you had ever experienced. It ends the dream of living happily ever after. It often leads to a dramatic change in the economic status of both parties. It can lead to children’s anger and resentment. It brings one party, or both, into an unknown future. In short, it may create as many problems as it solves.

I am not one who is adverse to divorce. It sometimes is a step that brings greater stability to both parties in the relationship. But this is not always the case. As a mediator, I always ask the parties early one if they have tried marital therapy. If they are religiously connected, I inquire if they have talked with their clergy about this decision. The article cited above is a reminder that divorce carries a heavy burden. The parties need to consider all perspectives before they embark on its course. One client, years after a divorce, once asked me why no one tells the couple that “divorce really stinks”. It is a fair question but one that can be neutralized by asking some of the questions that authors Derman and Gregson have included in their post. Their insights remind us all of the wisdom in the adage: “Measure twice but cut once.”

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