That dreaded word: Divorce. An average of 50% of marriages end in divorce these days. As often as it happens, divorce can still be one of the worst times in a family’s life. You can help minimize the pain of loss and separation in a divorce by educating yourself as to what type of divorce process might be best one for you to use.
Couples who divorce and the dynamics between the partners are as unique as snowflakes, complicated and difficult to understand. We all know that marriages can go wrong for a wide variety of reasons. And, no one size fits all.
Trying to work on your marriage is often the recommended first step, to explore ways to stay married and become more satisfied. Talking with a therapist, a spiritual advisor, or other professional can help you determine whether a divorce is a reasonable process to use to improve your and your family’s lives in the long run. Some couples stay together and some split, a decision not to be made lightly.
When considering a divorce, there are several ways to proceed. Attorneys can give legal advice about how to divorce. Mental health professionals, attorneys, and financial advisors can also help a couple evaluate the situation and explore various divorce processes. Here are some:
1. Print divorce forms from the internet and work together. I advise you to let an attorney review your work.
2. Explore the process of mediation. A listing of Rule 31 mediators can be found at: http:// www.tncourts.gov/programs/mediation/find-mediator
3. Talk with a Collaborative Divorce professional. Learn more at: http://www.mtcollab.com
4. Contact an attorney to litigate the divorce, an adversarial process using two attorneys. This may mean that you will attend a trial in court, or that your attorneys will help you create a settlement to be offered to the court.
5. If you are unable to afford an attorney, contact the Legal Aid Society in the Middle TN area: http://www.las.org
You need to consider whether or not you want to get divorced in a somewhat amicable way or whether you want to fight with your spouse. You also need to think about costs, whether you have enough money to enter into what can be a lengthy litigation, or work together to develop a mutually agreed upon, durable agreement. Do you want to work with your spouse on your plans for the future, or let a judge make decisions for you and your family? Child support, spousal support, and a parenting plan are all areas for consideration as you transition from a married family to a divorced one.
Everyone suffers during divorce because divorce brings out issues about love, loss, separation, betrayal and safety. If you have decided to divorce, hopefully you can take charge of your divorce by deciding what type of divorce process fits best for you.