We’ve all read of the bitter fighting that is often associated with divorce litigation. Two spouses, backed by two pit bull divorce lawyers, throwing accusations at each other. Neither spouse willing to give an inch, both determined to win.
Divorce isn’t about winning.
A good and amicable divorce
There is a better way that has deservedly been getting national attention. Constance Ahrons, Ph.D., wrote a book titled, The Good Divorce: Keeping your family together when your marriage comes apart. In the book, she says, “A good divorce is one in which both the adults and children emerge at least as emotionally well as they were before the divorce. The basic foundation is that ex-spouses develop a parenting partnership, one that is sufficiently cooperative to permit the bonds of kinship—with and through their children—to continue.”
How do you make a good divorce?
The key to a good divorce is having the couple successfully negotiate a divorce agreement that results in both spouses—and their children—able and ready to adapt to their new lives. The negotiation takes place outside of the courtroom and resolves all economic issues, creating an economic blueprint for the family’s future. Property and debt division are decided. Child support and spousal maintenance are tackled. The mutual rights and responsibilities of each parent are affirmed in the agreement, leaving both parents believing they’ve reached an agreement they can live with.
Characteristics of a good divorce
Couples that retain control of the process, rather than hand it over the court system, will often find more success. A good divorce typically entails:
- A sense of economic fairness: Neither spouse feels like they were victimized by the process or the spouse. Both ultimately feel that the agreement was fair.
- Improved communication: Often working with a mediator enhances the couple’s communication skills with each other. This leads to improved co-parenting.
- Renewed trust: Trust is built with consistency. And seeing that the other spouse hasn’t demonized the other in the process, helps grow that trust.
- Conflict resolution skills: The divorce mediation process demonstrates how to better handle conflict.
- Emotional closure: Both spouses come out feeling that things are settled and any conflicts have been resolved. They are both ready for a new beginning.
A good divorce begins with consulting an attorney who believes that there is a better way. Finding an amicable path to a parenting partnership through mediation or collaborative law can take the fight out of divorce—and that’s better for everyone.