Updated: Jan 25
No matter how common divorce is, it is a hard decision to make. Ending the emotional relationship is traumatic while the dissolution of the legal and financial union makes the perceived loss a reality. Facing the end of their bond together, without hiring the meanest lawyer to wage a war on the other, is a critical step toward a mutually acceptable period of their lives that started with love and care.
Marriage is no longer an expression of love and care as many presume it to be going into their “I dos”. It’s not the expression of a lifelong commitment. It is not a mechanism to hold on to one’s best friend and support system. The institution of marriage has been failing couples for the last few decades. It is no longer delivering on couples’ needs in this day and age. Most mistakingly convince themselves that the problem is in the choice they made, in the person they married. Once divorced, they quickly go back to the pool of eligible wives or husbands-to-be. This time they have a plan, they will avoid all past mistakes and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, the divorce rate of second and third marriages beg to differ.
Seeing that many will marry and remarry, divorce should not become a lasting trauma for either of the spouses. The trick is to approach divorce as a challenge that can only be overcome by collaboration. Divorce Mediators will chart the path for the couple and help the two navigate the process to achieve an equitable Separation Agreement. A successful Separation Agreement will provide the two with a sense of validation for their decision and the freedom from the haunting doubt of ending up with the short end of the stick.
Collaborative divorce mediation is not therapy but rises to the occasion as it acknowledges each spouse's contribution to the partnership they had. If that recognition was lacking during their time together, it would be unrealistic to expect it during the divorce process. Yet, through a mediated divorce, the couple will have an opportunity to honor their history and the good times they’ve experienced together, even if not the person per se.
On the other hand, a contested divorce will cost multiple times the cost of mediation. Lawyers will fight for their clients and maneuver to strike a deal beneficial to their clients. Keep in mind that over 90% of litigated divorces are settled out of court but only after the two have spent more time, energy, and money than they cared to sink into the already concluded union.
There are cases where hiring a lawyer is warranted, but the majority of divorces require mediation for the sake of everyone's sanity, energy, and prosperity. That is the difference between extending the trauma and building a strong bridge to your new, independent future.