Navigating change is difficult. Rachel Green & the re•solutions team can help increase clarity & improve communication for couples in conflict.

Divorcing Parents: Don’t Bring Your Battles to Court 

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

You’re getting divorced and you’re angry, resentful, hurt, vindictive or any combination of other painful emotions. You want to lash out, to get back at your spouse or boost your own sense of esteem. Hiring the most aggressive litigious divorce lawyer you can find seems like your smartest choice. Your ex is in for a fight! 

If you’re a parent who is thinking along those lines, you’re making a choice you may long regret. 

If you choose a lawyer who directs you straight into a vicious court battle, the costs to you will be insurmountable – not only in financial outlay, but in emotional turmoil as well. Think long and hard before you move your divorce battle into the legal system. It is likely to take its toll on every member of your family – including your children – in the most destructive and gut-wrenching ways. It happens all the time. But it need not happen to you. 

When you give your divorce outcome over to the courts, you are paving the way to unimaginable stress and frustration compounded by a sense of powerlessness that is hard to comprehend until you are in its grips. As you stand by and watch attorneys and judges make decisions about your life and your future you can’t help but feel violated and helpless. The taste of revenge that you were after can easily turn into anxiety and shock when issues get twisted and victors become victims right before your eyes. The consequences can play out for years, and often decades, to come. 

Sadly, your children are not protected from the emotional and psychological repercussions. When custody decisions are made by those who are focused more on financial issues than family issues, children’s needs often get pushed aside in favor of other objectives. Relationships, balance and good will are not prime objectives in the battle of divorce, and the scars on your children’s psyches are often overlooked in the legal blood-bath that ensues. 

There are other ways. Better ways. And more ways than ever before to create a divorce that respects the rights of every one in the family. 

Before engaging that “killer” attorney, talk to a Collaborative Divorce attorney who specializes in creating peaceful outcomes without going to court. Collaborative Lawyers are trained to use their own special skills along with the aid of financial planners, therapists, mediators and other resources to bring both sides into conversation about win-win outcomes. Children’s needs get high consideration. 

Certified Mediators offer another opportunity to create a fair settlement without litigation at a considerable cost savings. Many mediators are former divorce attorneys who have battled it out in court and know there are saner solutions for all concerned. They care about creating peaceful resolutions. 

Learn from the lessons and mistakes of others. If you want to save yourself considerable expense – both emotionally and financially – and if you want your children to thank you when they are grown up for creating a civilized, sensible, harmonious divorce – make the right decisions today. Stay out of court. Stay out of the hands of killer attorneys. Stay in the good graces of your children. Create a Child-Centered Divorce – and reap the rewards for years to come! 

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of the acclaimed e-book, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — With Love! To get her advice, coaching services, expert interviews, programs, e-courses and other valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting, visit:
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 © Rosalind Sedacca.  All rights reserved.

How Long Does Mediation Take?

The answer to this varies a lot. Firstly, you’re in control, you decide how long you want between appointments. If you want to move through the process quickly or slowly.

I’ve had clients who met once a week for 4 weeks, they resolved everything in the sessions and signed their agreement and court papers. From start to finish it was 5-7 weeks.

My longest-running case took 9 years. They would come in when they needed help resolving something, once a year or year and a half. Their child grew up, they put him through college, sold the marital home and were still married. When they came in to sign their papers, they both cried. Even though they hadn’t lived together in years, it still meant something that they were married. The official end of the marriage was an important marker.

I’ve had cases where one partner has toyed with the idea of separation; run it through their minds for months or even years and is now ready to tell the spouse they want to break up. Meanwhile, the spouse is shocked. 

                “Every time we fight you threaten divorce, but you never did anything about it, so I never thought you were serious.”

                “You’re telling the mediator that you were so unhappy. Why didn’t you tell me that, during our marriage?” 

In those situations, we have to give the non-initiating spouse the time to adjust to the idea of the split; begin to mourn the big changes that come with a break-up. They have to process the loss of the future they thought they were going to have before they’re ready to make decisions about how their lives will be structured in the future. 

Often, they’re not doing that processing with me; but with a therapist, or just with friends and families. I don’t hear from them for 8 or 12 or 16 months and they come back in a different place. Looking stronger and more confident, ready to approach these decisions. 

On average though, couples finish the mediation process in 2-18 months.

Rituals For Healing When Breaking Up

Visit places where you and your ex did things together, and say goodbye to the them:

The diner where you always had breakfast

The club where you loved to dance

The bar you both frequented

Even the beach in Mexico where you decided to get married

Plan a trip by yourself, so you have something to look forward to.

Watch breakup movies or movies of your favorite actors, disregarding their romantic or non-romantic qualities.

22 Breakup Movies That Are Way Better Than Any Rom-Com

31 best breakup movies to mend a shattered heart

Turn your ex’s old study or dedicated space into a new workshop for you, for journaling, sewing, painting, writing, dancing, etc.

Have a breakup party! Invite your closest friends and colleagues. Friends come together so tell them all at once what had happened, and you don’t have to go through the story again and again. Ask them to come prepared to talk about their own breakups, their own hurts, feelings of rejection, times they had affairs, times they found out about affairs, times they felt that it was the nadir, with no hope and how that changed over time. Share the universal experience of breaking up. 

And as always work, distractions and connections will help you recover from the breakup. 

Feeling Unseen In A Relationship

I’m working with a high-conflict couple. Both feel unseen, unappreciated and unacknowledged for their efforts. Both feel the other belittles their contributions. 

This is common amongst divorcing people and the primary reason intimate relationships breakdown.  

People crave recognition and just might seek it elsewhere if they don’t get it at home. It’s a challenge in intimate relationships because we’re all incredibly fragile.  

When I say, “the kitchen’s a mess.” I’m stating a fact, but my husband hears it as, “Why haven’t you cleaned it? You lazy SOB.”  

In fact, he’s been known to perceive my statement as an accusation, as if I said, “You never do anything round here,” So, he responds “but I do a lot around the house. I just bought the groceries, folded the laundry.” If I’m talking about the kitchen I’d say, “I wasn’t talking about the groceries or laundry.”  

It’s hard to ignore what you hear as an accusation and refrain from defensiveness. However, looping back is a great start. “You’re right, it’s true the kitchen’s a mess.” Then, generate options. “Do either of us have time to clean it or we could do it together? Would you prefer to load the dishwasher or clear the counters? Or should we let it fester till the weekend, like we did when we started dating?” Adding a touch of humor never goes astray. 

Financial Challenges in Divorce & other Major Life Transitions with Stephanie Genkin

Rachel chats with Stephanie Genkin, CFP, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst & Certified Financial Therapist. She works with clients in the divorce process helping them divide assets and understand how their expenses and future plans may need an adjustment as a result of the dissolution of the marriage.

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Finding Yourself through Divorce with Beverly Price

Rachel interviews Beverly Price, owner of Her Empowered Divorce, a resource of support for separated, divorcing & divorced women. Beverly is a divorce coach, pre-mediation coach, women’s empowerment Coach, podcast host, radio show host, speaker & domestic violence advocate.

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Mediating through Divorce with Lisa Zeiderman

Rachel chats with Lisa Zeiderman, Divorce Financial Analyst, Financial Litigator & Managing Partner at Miller Zeiderman.

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Lisa’s Website:

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Know Your Worth Through Divorce with Stacy Francis

Rachel chats with Stacy Francis, President & CEO of Francis Financial, a financial planning & wealth management firm specializing in helping women navigate divorce or widowhood. She’s a Financial Planner & Divorce Financial Analyst. She is also the founder of the nonprofit, Savvy Ladies.

Stacy’s suggested reading:

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