Divorce is a life transition that generates permanent changes.
One can never go back – only forward. Divorce affects finances, relationships and career choices.
It can be a positive catalyst for a metamorphosis.
- Divorce is not a linear process, one can back track, hit a speed bump or nearly get derailed. My husband and I were in the collaborative process and he suddenly dropped out when it did not go as he expected. We had to start over with new solicitors for litigation. Then he decided to return to collaborative and luckily our original solicitors let us pick up where we left off from before.
- Divorce does not have to mean only negative changes –but can push people in a positive direction. Maribel was a stay-at-home mum who was bored out of her mind and felt unfulfilled. Getting a divorce forced her back into the working world. She opted for a lesser paying job in retail and is ecstatic about life. Maribel is much more vibrant now, than I ever observed in her marriage. Two co-workers lead busy, fulfilled lives now that they are divorced.
- Divorce has an end point. My maintenance and child support have finished which means contact with my ex is 100% in the past. I will be moving and can totally close that chapter of my life. Other people’s end point may be when their divorce is finalized, especially when there is a Clean Break. The divorce process seemed endless at the time, but it helped when folks said that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Get centred, clear your mind and think through your choices and decisions. I made stupid missteps in a panic – rather than stating “Let me think about it and get back to you.” An issue can be tabled until the next mediation/collaborative session – or you could send an e-mail the following day with your decision. Reacting quickly, instead of mulling it over can haunt you in the future.
- Get the necessary experts on the divorce team. If it seems as if some assets are missing, then get a forensic accountant
on board. In an acrimonious divorce, a custody evaluator may be brought in to do an extensive study to determine the percentage of shared care between parents.
- There are support groups available to enable you to make it through the arduous divorce process. The Divorce Magazine has a link to helpful resources including parenting ones, on the web site. Conduct your own online search to discover ones in your locale. Talking to others going through divorces gave me support and I felt less alone.
- It is normal to feel that you cannot take much more stress without exploding. People interviewed expressed that they were surprised that they got through divorce without a nervous breakdown. In our crazy divorce, the two solicitors mandated that we each see a designated life coach for at least one session. My husband brought his to one collaborative session and that made for a smoother meeting with less tension for all of us.
- You will discover traits that you did not realize that you possessed. Hidden strength will bubble up and get you through tough negotiations. You will discover your resilience which helps you to be flexible and bend like a pine tree rather than being rigid like the mighty oak and breaking in a storm.
- A Family Law solicitor said if one party is pleased in the divorce – then something is not fair. When both people are unhappy about the asset division, then it is fair. I made sure I got the few things that I really desired, the water colour painting of our deceased cat, plus several other items. I refused to get in a battle over our joint personal property which resulted in my husband letting me have a bit more. Hold out for what you really want in the personal property division and do not haggle over every little thing. Not worth the time, increased legal fees and anxiety.
- You may be at loggerheads with each other during divorce, but may like each other down the road. Some former couples are friends and even have get-togethers with the new spouses. This is really lovely for the children during the holidays when this happens. Memory has the trick of glossing over the unpleasant parts and this is helpful after divorce.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.