For anyone going through the divorce process, it is a stormy, tumultuous time.
Generally, in our first meeting, I like to identify the issues and then we will work through those to help people manage the storm. Here are the top ways that the storms present themselves and how to manage them during the divorce process.
1) Identify the storm
During my first call with someone, I try to identify what is the divorce storm that we are facing. Part of my role is to help my client to understand what we can do to manage this storm. I just need to know if the storm is a hurricane or is it a tornado? Is it a flood? Is it a freezing event? The preparation for a hurricane is different from the preparation for an ice storm. For example, addiction issues in a divorce, whether in the family of origin of the people or in their own marriages, are planned for and dealt with very differently than if it’s that the other spouse does not communicate and just shuts out everyone.
2) Mental Health
Some people have serious mental health issues. Some have borderline mental health issues. These issues affect the ability to be in a good and healthy relationship. So, we want to see if that’s what’s going on.
3) Conflict from Different Paths
Some couples are quite frankly on different journeys. They may have been mismatched from the beginning of the marriage. Because of this, they don’t have the opportunity to grow in their marriage and that creates conflict. They have been going in different directions for a long time.
4) Money Issues
If the other aspects of a marriage are working, people can generally work around their money issues. But when the money issue blows up, different people have different emotional reactions to money. For some people, they’re not going to worry about the ups and downs of our economy and how it goes. For other people, it’s a major security issue. And that begins to tighten the freedom in the relationship for each party.
When people know better, they do better. One of the most important things to let people know during the divorce process is that they’re not alone and are not the first people to be dealing with this storm. We have antidotes for every situation, not only in a traditional litigated divorce process but through the Collaborative Divorce and Mediation processes. Prior to becoming a lawyer, I was an educator. I find that the more information that we can give that is focused on the storm that our clients are dealing with, the better off they’re going to be. When they calm down, they think better and can move toward a better resolution in their divorce.