We recently had a question about whether use of our software to minimize some of the friction points in a divorce might not have the unintended consequence of encouraging more divorces. Our response was simple; NO, NO NO!
There is no way that anyone experiencing the normal ups, downs and frustrations of any marriage should ever kid themselves or others that any divorce will be simple, easy, or pain free. It won’t be. Unless you are in a relationship where you are being abused, or where your partner has an unsolvable issue like intractable substance abuse, or a refusal to get necessary mental health treatment, a break up should be the very last option you pursue, not the first, second or even third.
As Justice Horton and I wrote in our book “Do Your Divorce Right; Straight Talk from Family Court Judges” a divorce is not a single event, but a multi-year process. It is never a process without significant costs; financial, emotional, practical and spiritual. It is always emotionally painful for the participants, their family members, and friends. It is usually a financial catastrophe of the first order of magnitude.
Most importantly. If you have children, no matter what the outcome might be, the process itself will be extraordinarily difficult for them, and if your partner wants to be difficult, could well rob your kids of the developmentally appropriate and happy childhood they are entitled to.
So, this is never a decision you should make lightly. We recommend reading Chapters 1 and 2 of Do Your Divorce Right before deciding anything, and also consulting with a trained counselor before coming to a decision. If you are uncertain about what to do, “discernment counseling” with your partner may be a worthwhile option. Similarly, while “trial separations” more often than not turn into permanent ones, sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder, leading to a good reconciliation.
So, you should never really want to go through a break up of an intimate relationship, it is sometimes necessary, or unavoidable. If so, you want it to be less hurtful, rather than more so. Once again, our book can help you navigate these troubled waters to minimize the pain. “Collaborative Divorce” can also be a useful tool, as can mediation in more traditional court cases.
No one ever wants a heart attack either, but if you have one, then you you do want the best treatment possible. So, we think of ourselves like heart surgeons; we truly hope you don’t need to call on our expertise. However, if you do need it, we want to provide you with the best available tools, designed to achieve a good outcome.
Senior Policy Advisor