People whom I love deeply are contemplating a divorce. They talked to me recently. I’ll tell you what I told them:
- Be sure. Have you given your marriage every chance of succeeding?
- Get into counseling. Now. If the marriage is truly over, then you want to divorce well and be happy after it’s over. None of us are good at seeing our own stuff clearly. Don’t just survive this. Get a good therapist so you can understand and grow from it. Now.
- Start with the image of you dancing with one another at your child’s wedding. Picture it? Now govern your behavior to ensure that your child will only be smiling, not grimacing, watching her parents dance.
- Work out what you can together. Sit down at the kitchen table and talk. Make sure you both understand that agreements are tentative until you both buy at least an hour of an attorney’s time to review your agreement. You don’t know what you don’t know.
- Choose your advisors wisely. You should seek advice from a lawyer but choose an attorney who at least has collaborative and mediation training because otherwise the advice you receive will tilt toward going to court. That’s all s/he does after all!
- If your courthouse has a “Legal Resource Center” you may want to consider stopping there for “Do-it-Yourself Divorce” forms. The forms may feel overwhelming and a well-chosen lawyer (see above) can certainly either review what you’ve completed before you file the documents with the court or simply prepare them for you.
You now have the same advice I give people I love!
Wishing you wisdom,