When I married my husband, he had already been married once before to someone else . . . and divorced. Early on, I remember him preparing me to go with him to his semi-annual martial arts training and the test that would accompany it, all the while explaining to me the festive gathering of old friends and new that would inevitably take place afterward.
He reminisced fondly about earlier reunions in which a close friend of his had figured prominently. They had met in college, and she was one of the first to enroll soon after he began his Tae Kwon Do program at the University of Florida; it was clear that she had been dear to him.
As he continued his storytelling, spinning tales of various happenings over the years after, it appeared that the relationship had lasted for a long time, not just during college, but also after they had graduated from university.
And even into his first marriage, when he was twenty-nine. In fact, his friend became their friend. They trained together. They drank together. They dined together. They went to movies together. And so, it went.
But, some years later, when he and his wife dissolved their marriage, she chose her friendship with his wife over her friendship with him.
How many times have you been chatting with a friend over a glass of wine or lunch, and your friend remarks, sadly, “Yes, I lost Sallie in the divorce.” And what she means is that Sallie is, or was, a friend, not their child, as you might assume, but a friend to both her and her spouse. So many bystanders get caught up in divorce proceedings, and hurt is inevitable.
How many times have you, perhaps you and your spouse, been friends with a couple, and, when they decided to divorce, you have been forced to choose which spouse to remain friends with? How do you make that decision? Often, the simplest choice is the one you befriended first. But that’s not always the choice that you would prefer to make.
Collateral damage is unavoidable in a courtroom divorce. Avoid the collateral damage, and get divorced without court.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE. FOLLOW OPEN PALM LAW.
About this week’s author Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.