“Fresh Start” Sounds Better Than “Divorce”

Whether you wanted the divorce or not, it came.   Some make the most of a divorce and use it as a “fresh start,” while others cling to the bitterness.  Ultimately, it boils down to what the person chooses to do about the reality that life has and will change dramatically.

With divorce, mediation often intrudes into the non-legal issues of who the wife or husband wants to be after the divorce.  Such an intrusion has a legitimate basis, but many folks have not given a thought to what they will be, who they will be, and what they want out of life after the divorce.   It’s a bit like going to college and not given much thought to what you’ll do after graduation.  At some point, you have to deal with the future and pre-planning can make a big difference.

Divorcing individuals may give thought to what they want their futures to “look like” at the urging of family members, friends, a counselor, and even their attorneys.    For a divorcing spouse who chooses to go through the process without an attorney, they may find that they are ordered by the court to attend mediation or agree to mediation because it suits their situation. 

For those divorcing spouses, and even those who are represented by legal counsel, a mediation coach may be a helpful “tutor” to have prior to mediation.  A mediation coach not only can assist with preparing for the nuts and bolts of the negotiation (e.g., getting records, appraisals, etc.), but also can assist an individual with assessing what they really want and what they really need in order to make their future the most inviting as possible. 

Cynthia Fox explained some of her theories and her trademarked process “The Constructive Divorce” recently.   http://www.mediate.com/articles/foxC4.cfm?nl=267  She is on to something that is too often overlooked in divorce.  Divorce is a major acknowledgement that the status quo is no longer desired, but many have failed to go much further to figure out what it is that they want in its place.

The legal and psychological/philosophical aspects of divorce can both be well served in mediation, a trait that makes a clinical court setting less overtly helpful in many divorce settings.


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