Thirty or forty years ago, a good divorce was like a unicorn — everyone had heard of one, but no one had actually seen it.
These days, good divorces are a lot more like zebras — they aren’t as common as horses, but they certainly aren’t that hard to find or unusual.
If you and your spouse want to aim for a good divorce, all you have to do is start with these tips in mind:
- Nobody has to be at fault for the divorce. Now that no-fault divorce is everywhere, you can skip the blame-game. Sometimes two very decent people just don’t work well with each other.
- Collaborative divorces can keep your costs low and your divorce out of the court. There’s a lot to be said for collaborative divorces. You made choices together when you started this marriage and you were in control of the situation. Why shouldn’t you end it the same way? If you choose to fight about everything, you’re essentially choosing to eventually surrender control to the judge who hears your case instead of having the divorce be a mutual collaboration between you and your spouse.
- A good divorce lets family members remain family. In other words, grandparents aren’t exiled because a mother or father disappears after the divorce. Aunts and uncles are still welcomed. You can’t hold everyone in your spouse’s family responsible for whatever went wrong in your marriage and it’s important that if you have kids that they feel comfortable maintaining those relationships with their extended family members.
- You may have to involve more than just your spouse in some of the conversations you have about the future. This applies more to couples who are getting a “gray” divorce. While you don’t want your adult children to take sides, they may have questions that they feel like they need to ask — adult to adult — that you wouldn’t address with children. It’s ok to set boundaries and put some topics off the table but try to be open about things like how your new relationship (if you have one) will affect their inheritance rights or place in the family.
An attorney can provide you with more information on divorce, including how you can protect your rights as you move through the divorce process.
Source: StarTribune, “A good divorce is possible, says psychologist,” Gail Rosenblum, Nov. 8, 2017