Divorce is one of the greatest stresses a human being can experience. While divorce is a personal decision for adults, it is a wrenching series of crises for their children.
When divorce strikes, the process of disassembling the family places tremendous demands on marital partners. Almost everything in your life that has been stable now must be reorganized. And this uncertainty can leave you in a state of chronic anxiety. But the people who take it hardest are your children. They didn’t pick the marriage, they have no say in the divorce, and sometimes parents ind it impossible to understand what divorce means to them.
Divorce is both a legal process as well as a psychological process. Beyond the obvious financial costs of a divorce are the emotional and opportunity costs that result. The legal process is important but the psychological process and how it is played out by the couple largely determines the tone and the nature of the divorce This is true regardless of whether the divorce involves only financial issues such as property division and alimony (spousal maintenance) or whether it also involves child related issues such as custody, parenting time, and child support.
If the divorce begins badly, it will usually be a long and nasty process. But, if it begins with consideration of the other person, there is a good chance that it will end amicably and constructively. The key is in controlling your emotions and trying understanding the emotional triggers of the other party at the beginning of the process.
An amicable and constructive divorce is possible only when both partners are ready to negotiate. Often times, one person has been thinking about starting a divorce for a long time, and the other person is shocked when he/she find this out.
If you are the one who wants out, you have to give your partner time to adjust, time to mourn and time to explore his/her own possibilities. If you push too fast, your spouse will retreat to the perceived safety of a lawyer who he/she thinks will “protect” her interests. If this happens, it will only increase the time and cost of the divorce. Being patient and considerate in the beginning will speed up the process and the ending.
You and your partner will probably have many misunderstandings and conflicts as you move forward as parents who are apart. It’s not easy for either of you, and your partner is sure to be a jerk at some point, make your life hard, or just complicate everything.
The most important thing to remember is that everything is in flux. What is true today won’t be true tomorrow or next week or next month. The situation is one that will be constantly evolving. It’s easy to feel as though the frustrations that are causing difficulties now will always be the case, but the truth is, that if you are patient, you will likely see things change.
Patience is one of the most effective tools in your possession. By staying calm, considerate, and focused you can gain an advantage that translates into a favorable deal.
Agreement is reached only after each party is ready to move from the wishful into the realm of the possible. Change takes place over time in small, constant, incremental movements. You cannot rush the process and the tone is important.