When I talk about the possibility of having a ‘good divorce’ which I do regularly it is often met with surprise and sometimes upset. How can a family professional say a divorce could be good? Well, let me be clear. Divorce is hugely traumatic and takes its toll emotionally, practically and financially. I know that and have seen this often during my previous career as a family lawyer. Often, divorce is the last thing someone wants and signifies the sad end of a joint future dream. It can be very difficult to accept, particularly for the person who has not made the decision to separate, or wants to work at the marriage.
Family law professionals understand the very real trauma of divorce which can have a long lasting impact on a person or family facing it. It can impact your emotional and physical health, knock your confidence, leave you full of fears and can be frightening. However, we also know that for every divorce, there is a choice as to how that process moves forward and how you may individually react. You can choose to engage in conflict. You can choose to instruct a solicitor who will ‘fight your corner’ or you can also choose a peaceful divorce. You can decide on a process whereby you can work together to find the best possible joint solution out of a terrible situation. You can choose not to be in a battle with the person you once loved and seek out a professional who can help you manage the emotional fall out and work with you collaboratively.
My day to day work solely involves working with couples who are motivated to work together through the difficult issues faced on a divorce or separation. These couples still experience pain and do not necessarily see eye to eye on what the future may look like but they are prepared to work in good faith, with me, to find a way forward. In turn, it is possible, with help for them to have experienced a good divorce and one where they are in control as to the outcome. One that most importantly puts their children at the heart of their discussions. One that focuses on the best their co operative parenting relationship can be and keeps communication open for the sake of their children and for the family not only to emotionally survive a divorce but sometimes even to thrive. I’ve talked in this article about family mediation but there are also many great alternatives to what the media or even your friends or family might lead you to believe about what a divorce might look like.
Resolution, a family justice organisation raising awareness of how families can separate amicably has launched a free parenting guide for separating families this week during Good Divorce Week. This guide contains some really helpful information and advice to help you put your children first during a separation or divorce. You can access that guide here Parenting-through-separation-guide.pdf (resolution.org.uk)