So you want a divorce.
You are tired of living in an unhappy marriage in which the bad times far outnumber the good times. You’ve done everything you can to keep your family together, but it’s just not working. You never thought that your marriage would end in divorce, but here you are.
But does that mean that you hate your spouse?
No. Do you hate his family? Probably not. Do you hate his friends? I doubt it. Do you wish to co-parent your children in a healthy manner? I hope so.
Have you seen friends and family divorce, and the divorce has destroyed all of their close relationships?
Are you a child of divorce, and you remember the devastating toll it took on your family? Does your divorce have to be that way?
No, it does not. Luckily, we now live in a time when people are beginning to understand that divorces don’t belong in a courtroom. People are able to end their marriages in respectful ways that do not destroy their families, but, instead, transform them. Rather than tearing apart the one you once loved the most, separate from him in a mature way with a team of professionals guiding you through the process.
Litigation is the old-fashioned way to divorce in which one party wins and one party loses.
But this is your family we’re talking about. Do you really want the other parent of your children to feel like he has lost in your divorce, even if it means that you win? And in reality, when it comes to litigation, both sides usually end up feeling like they have lost. It’s sad and unnecessary.
But you do have alternatives. There are better ways.
Methods by which your family is transformed rather than destroyed. Many divorce attorneys are now being trained in innovative forms of alternative dispute resolution, like collaborative practice. More and more professionals now understand that divorces need more than just attorneys, but also mental health and financial professionals to better address all of the emotional and financial, as well as the legal needs of the parties.
One of the biggest issues in any divorce is the psychological element. Including trained mental health professionals as neutral facilitators in a divorce allows the parties to work through those issues during the process so that they don’t unnecessarily delay it or linger afterwards. And because the vast majority of divorces include a financial component, it only makes sense to include a neutral financial professional. These professionals, working with the specially trained attorneys, provide a more holistic approach that better addresses all the needs of the parties.
If you have decided that divorce is in your future, understand your choices. Choose to transform your family, rather than to destroy it. Choose to collaborate.
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.