We like to see what people are talking and thinking about across the broad spectrum of family law, so from time to time, we visit family law blogs like ours (and not like ours!). Recently, we came across a blog article that dispenses advice about making divorce painless. Since it’s on the Fatherly website, it’s especially geared to fathers and those who are invested in fathers’ rights. But really, in the end, it’s great advice for anyone who is about to go through divorce and wants to reduce the emotional damage that divorce can cause.
The article offers 19 tips, which is a lot, and some of the tips are ones that we’ve offered along the blog-writing journey we’ve embarked on: Considering mediation or collaborative divorce as an alternative to litigation, making sure you and your soon-to-be-ex keep the children in focus, and talking to a therapist while you’re in the divorce process.
But there were a few intriguing items that struck us as fresh, or at least worthy of revisiting, that we wanted to pass along.
See a couples’ counselor together
One idea, extending from the idea of therapy and emotional support, is to see a couple’s counselor during the divorce process. That seems counterintuitive, as couples only typically see a counselor when they’re trying to stay together. But the points they raised were definitely good ones worth pondering.
They quoted Laura Goldstein, a marriage and family therapist, who said counseling can be extremely helpful for people getting divorced to express their needs as they work toward living their post-divorce lives.
“It is simply a myth to think that couples counseling is only appropriate when the goal is to repair a relationship,” she observed. “It can also be very instrumental when the goal is to dissolve it effectively.”
Another tip they passed along was to learn as much about the divorce process as possible. “Fear and misconceptions about divorce lead people to be more aggressive, which ratchets up the conflict,” Erik Wheeler, a mediator with Accord Mediation, said in the article — and that can come if people are going into divorce just hearing about the bad experiences people have.
This is where the kind of initial consultation that the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance does comes into play: Rather than just going over the basics, we get into what strategy and what method works best for you, your children, and your assets. Perhaps you go into your divorce thinking that fighting it out in court is the only way to get what you want, not realizing that a collaborative divorce could save you time, money, and energy in your particular situation. Or, perhaps you weigh the options and determine that litigation’s necessary. But at least, after a consulation with a law firm that’s guided people through all those routes to settling a divorce, you’ll know.
The article also advised against trying to do it yourself, and that’s incredibly important advice. Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex believe you’re in agreement over how you’ll divide assets and time with the kids, there might be factors you’re not considering or items you’re entitled to yet conceding needlessly. It’s good, at the very least, to meet with a lawyer so you’re not flying blind — but upon meeting with a lawyer, you might realize how much easier and better your divorce could be with a lawyer in your corner.