I enjoyed spending time with Bruce and his guests, Laura, Erika and John on the Real Life Survival Guide this past week at The New Haven Meatball House. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a large part of the topic was devoted to divorce, and divorce is generally not a fun topic for people who are thinking about it or in the midst of it.
Although we touched on the difficulties of divorce during the taping, it bears emphasis that in today’s world there are choices about how one gets divorced and those choices are specifically designed to give people more control over their own “divorce destinies” as well as to set the stage for future cooperation. There is traditional litigation, yes, but couples should also think about Mediation or Collaborative Law, both of which can help reduce some of the horrors and costs of adversarial divorce.
As we talked about in the taping, divorce is a legal, and emotional, and financial process, but that broad brush doesn’t really even touch on the challenges of children, whether adult or minor, the potential that divorce is about division of liabilities, not assets, or the daunting task of disentangling lives that have been entangled for decades.
Don’t even get me started on retirement planning, estate planning, houses under water, bullies, substance and alcohol abuse and the everyday reality that people often don’t finish one paragraph before they start another, if you get my drift.
Kids don’t ask for any of this, but they are the ones who deal with it for the rest of their lives, so couples owe it to their kids to explore ways of getting divorced that minimizes the impact on those kids.
Mediation or Collaborative Law are both good places to start that exploration.
Susan Jacobs has practiced law for more than thirty years, devoting her practice to Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Law (firstname.lastname@example.org)
She is active in community theater and has served on numerous boards and commissions in the Town of Woodbridge.