When you decided to get divorced, you knew it was going to be difficult. But you did not realize just how difficult. Facing the cold, hard truths of divorce can often make people reconsider their course of action, and stay together when it ultimately is not in their best interests.
Understanding the conflicting emotions of divorce
You should not feel bad if divorce leaves you confused and angry. After all, you are dealing with your soon-to-be ex spouse who, in the current situation, is your opponent, the person you fear may take from you things like financial freedom and access to your children. At the same time, this is the same person you once decided to start a life with, whom you may still love. It is not an easy set of circumstances to comprehend.
First off, accept that if you have children together, your ex will always be in your life to some extent. You must deal with this, and how you do so depends entirely on the two of you. Your ex may try to rebuild your friendship, or want nothing to do with you. Mentally prepare for anything, and begin to prepare for other realities of life after divorce.
Divorce is especially hard on children
Children are tougher than we give them credit for, but your divorce will affect your kids. They will likely experience loss, grief and pain as the result of your split. You must live with that, but understand that the pain of the alternative may ultimately be worse.
If you are divorcing parents, do not try to control the experience of your children. Listen to and try to respect their feelings on your divorce, no matter how difficult.
Own your feelings on the matter
You have a right to confusion, anger, frustration and sometimes even desperation during a divorce. Do not deny the feelings as they come. Find a friend, relative or professional counselor to whom you can talk, and do so frequently.
Some divorcing couples fear litigation above all else. They do not want to get drawn into a long, expensive court battle in which a judge reviews every embarrassing detail of their lives and pits ex-spouses against one another as foes. In such cases, spouses may be quick to try mediation as a means of alternative dispute resolution.
If this sounds like your situation, make sure you do not view mediation as a miracle pill to resolve all divorce woes. Divorce mediation addresses some issues very efficiently, but is not designed to resolve other, more contentious issues at all.
What exactly is mediation?
In divorce mediation, a couple works with a neutral mediator who helps them reach agreements about all of the aspects of their divorce. Mediators are often not attorneys, but are always exceptionally familiar with family law. There are numerous online resources you can use to familiarize yourself with the more detailed concepts of mediation.
There are many pluses to mediation.
It is less expensive than traditional divorce.
Mediation often leaves divorced spouses on amicable terms, and is often less of a burden on children.
It keeps control of the divorce agreement in the hands of the spouses, not the judge.
What mediation cannot do
There are many situations, however, where mediation is less desirable.
Mediation is often not a viable option in cases involving spousal abuse and domestic violence.
If one spouse hides assets from the other, mediation is less likely than litigation to uncover those assets. All financial income is only disclosed voluntarily in mediation.
If mediation fails, the couple must begin the entire divorce procedure over again from square one.
If one spouse has a propensity for negative behavior such as alcohol or drug abuse, mediation could fuel the negative emotions driving that behavior.
Also, if the mediator is less experienced, even a seemingly successful mediation can result in a poorly drafted or unenforceable agreement that can be challenged down the road.
Posted in Family