The divorce process can be long and tiring. Many clients who have reached the end wonder, “What’s next?” Living alone (part of the week) can be a challenge, post-divorce, and as you adjust.
It’s normal to have mixed feelings. It can be a relief to no longer live with your ex, but it can also be a difficult transition. It’s normal to have mixed feelings – even if (especially if) you initiated the end of the marriage. The divorce process sweeps you up, and you are keeping your eye on the goal, as you negotiate, and push through. When it is over, it can leave a void.
In mediation, we work to make space to have conversations that you have not been able to have on your own, which can help you to have closure, and to move forward without needing to keep rehashing the past.
The answer to this is personal, and it depends where you are both at. Are you 100% sure that you are headed for divorce? Or is there a chance of separating for a few months, a year, even 3 – and then reconciling? Do you feel that you would not be able to date if you are still married? Is one of you on the other’s health insurance?
There are three differences between signing a full separation agreement and living apart, according to its terms, and filing for a divorce.
Comply with all CDC and local and state guidelines and model good behavior for your children with intensive hand washing, wiping down surfaces and other objects that are frequently touched, and maintaining social distancing. This also means BE INFORMED. Stay in touch with the most reliable media sources and avoid the rumor mill on social media.
A neutral mediator is key to the mediation process. This neutrality in the mediator can help heal the pain of divorce and increase understanding. It is never simple to determine why a marriage ends. The end of the marriage takes two, as does the beginning .
My challenge as a mediator is how to understand/empathize with both people.
Sometimes people think they need a prenuptial agreement to keep property they own now, separate, in case of a divorce. But everything that you own before the marriage will stay separate, as long as you keep it in your separate name. So you don’t need a prenup, if all you want to do is protect your premarital property.
Still – in a good prenup mediation,
we can discuss what you each feel is fair, and you can start your marriage
without unexpressed assumptions and expectations. Also, the prenup will memorialize what you
have now – exactly what is your premarital assets and debt, so that there is no
confusion, down the road.
Is mediation or collaborative divorce the right fit for you?
After you decide that you are going to separate, the first questions you want to answer are: What process will work best for you both? Who are the professionals who can help you to find the steps through to this next phase of your lives? Do you both want to try mediation with a neutral third person to help facilitate your conversation? Or would you prefer to have your attorney sitting next to you during your negotiations?
You may have been wronged – but getting stuck in conflict, and seeking revenge, will only keep you thinking about and tallying up – reliving – those hurts. The goal of mediation is to wrap up this part of your life, resolve and settle, so that you can move forward to your new and (hopefully) happier future, without the conflicts of the past. Let them go!