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The Good Divorce: Myth or Reality?

Everyone has a story about someone who went through a horrible divorce.  But what about a good divorce?  Is this even possible?  Actually, more and more couples are proving that you can have a good divorce.  However, most of these couples didn’t just fall into a peaceful uncoupling.  Instead, they worked at it.  If both parties agree that a divorce is the best solution, they can also agree to have a good divorce.  Even if only one party is committed to a good divorce, their attitude and approach can shape the proceedings in a way that a commitment to discord and hostility won’t.  But you have to have a plan.

Identify and Honor Your Values

As you plan your divorce, consider your own personal values, either as a couple or as individuals.  You may value integrity, honesty, compromise.  Or you may choose kindness, friendship, and a commitment to the children.  There really aren’t any “right” or “wrong” values.  However, they may vary in priority from person to person.  Choose your values and write them down.   Now put the list in a place where you will see it every morning and every evening.  Consider making more than one list.  Put one on the bathroom mirror, one in the kitchen, and one inside the visor in your car.  When things get bumpy, and odds are, they will, even if just for a small amount of time, repeat your values to yourself.  Choose your response consistent with your values, rather than reacting on impulse.

Select Support Professionals

Getting divorced can take a long time in Maryland.  Choose support professionals that can offer coaching as you go through the process.  You can hire a divorce coach (yes! That is actually a thing!).  Alternatively, you can choose a mental health professional to see.  The purpose of hiring a professional is to find a sounding board to discuss your perspective and get feedback from an objective person who does not have a vested interest in your situation.  While you may have a best friend or a supportive parent who will offer comfort, the support professional will help you wrestle with your issues without the emotions that often come with discussing your situation with a loved one.  Additionally, the professional you choose will undoubtably have some strategies for coping with difficult times and unexpected feelings as you process your divorce.

Actively Plan For Your Physical and Mental Health

Self care is always important.  It is also easy to put self care on the back burner for far too long – even during the best of times.  In order to have a good divorce, you need to be in a good place.  This means making sure you are getting enough sleep, providing your body with nutrients rather than empty calories, and exercising.  It also means taking time to just relax and let your mind go.  Whether this comes from a soothing massage, a soothing swim, or a guided meditation, taking care of you is a critical first step.  Because many of us are not accustomed to self care, and because even a good divorce can be draining at times, take a few moments to write up a plan of action for your physical and mental well being.  Put it on the calendar.  These plans are just as important as your plans with friends and meetings with your boss.  Respect this time with yourself.

Become Involved in Your Good Divorce

Actively taking steps to participate in your divorce process can give you the feeling of more control of the situation.  This does not mean drafting your own motions and filing them with the court.  Nor does it mean telling your attorney what exhibits to create.  Instead, it means proactively choosing how you want to proceed with your divorce.  Check your values list, and consider which approach may be best for you and your family.  You can choose:

  • Litigation
  • Negotiation between attorneys
  • Collaborative divorce or

If you and your spouse are both committed to a good divorce, litigation is likely not the way to go.  This is a conversation you should have with any divorce attorney you are considering hiring.

Choose Your Attorney Wisely

Your plans for a good divorce can go right out the window if you choose an attorney who has plans for a different approach.  There are plenty of attorneys who prefer a “scorch the earth” approach to litigation.  If you hire an attorney who is known for litigating over every stick of furniture and every minute of parenting time, that’s likely how your divorce will go.  When interviewing divorce attorneys, ask them about their approach, and let them know your goals in achieving your divorce.  It is essential that you find an attorney you can trust to handle your divorce while respecting your values.

Celebrate the End of an Era

There is power in ritual.  Consider employing some ritual as you begin your new, single life.  It might be something as simple as burning some sage in your new apartment.  Or it may be something as involved as throwing a divorce party.  Some couples even throw a divorce party together.

Are You Looking for a Divorce Attorney?

If you are looking for a divorce attorney, contact the office of Fait & DiLima.  Our divorce attorneys are ready to meet with you to discuss your divorce goals and requirements.  If you are interested in a good divorce, we can approach your case using collaborative divorce law or mediation.  We look forward to working with you to achieve your divorce goals.  Call us at (301) 888-6384.  We maintain offices in Rockville and Frederick to serve you.

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