For many people who grew up believing that divorce is bad or shameful, it can seem to be an odd concept that perhaps life might get better after they split, especially if one or both partners is terribly unhappy. As a recent essay suggests, the idea of one spouse choosing to leave a relationship that has soured rather than suffer in silence for the sake of the children is perhaps not such a radical concept.
Doing it to save themselves as an act of radical self-love is not the societal messaging people, and especially women, usually receive, perhaps because it seems too self-serving. But a spouse who sacrifices her spirit and happiness just to keep up the appearance of a normal family is giving less to the children, not more.
Children are not as easily fooled as we might think. The fights, tight-lipped silences and unrelenting tension in the air do not go unnoticed, and can profoundly affect a child’s sense of safety, self-worth and emotional stability. Although divorce is painful, it can also be a liberating experience that may lead to a better life for everyone.
Does divorce have to be painful?
For Virginia residents, one spouse may file grounds for divorce or as a no-fault or uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to all issues of property division, child custody and visitation, as well as child or spousal support, and draw up a settlement agreement that they submit to the court for the final divorce decree.
Although many people think of appearances before a judge when they are going through a divorce, there are other ways to negotiate a settlement, especially if both spouses agree on many of the issues. Finding out more about the options for avoiding the courtroom altogether, where the process is time-effective, less expensive than litigation, and private, may make sense for couples who wish to preserve an amicable relationship after divorce.
What is collaborative divorce?
In a collaborative divorce, each party retains a lawyer trained in collaborative law whose purpose is to help their client negotiate a divorce settlement out of the courtroom. They must use their skills as negotiators, not litigators, and as such, the format is interest-based and allows both sides to come away from the process with something of value.
Collaborative divorce not only saves time and money, it remains private, and gives both parties the chance to handle their own needs and wishes in a format that encourages resolution and not conflict. As a result, the benefits include an amicable resolution that can also establish a foundation for future co-parenting arrangements.