How do you avoid the trauma of divorce – the battle, the fighting which can endure for many months or years, and the constant argument and opposition to a partner whom you once loved or even still care about?
What does it mean to have a peaceful and successful divorce? How do you discuss and create solutions to divide your assets and debts; share the parenting of your children who are not yet adults or still in school; and calculate a fair distribution of earnings to support two households?
Mental health professionals tell us that when we are angry, in trauma, and emotional, that we are not thinking with the best, problem-solving parts of our brains. How are we able to master our emotions to think rationally and to creatively develop solutions and a new sense of purpose? How can we recreate some of the empathy that we formerly had for our spouse to create a base for teamwork, connection, and solution?
Through an out-of-court process of collaborative divorce, working with a collaborative team of professionals, it is possible to transition from battle to cooperative settlement. It is also possible to save months of court litigation by selecting a collaborative … Read More “How to Have a Peaceful and Successful Divorce”
Intro: The sixth phase of grief for couples and families after divorce bring meaning and renewal.
By Hiram Rivera-Toro & Karen Shipley
Entering autumn is a time of goodbyes. Of saying farewell to summer and all the special memories the season brings: family get togethers, backyard Bar B Q’s, beach outings, and long road trips. September 22, 2020, however, marks the passage of a summer that never was: cancelled proms and graduation ceremonies, June weddings rescheduled, and sheltering at home instead of hanging out. COVID has rendered our lives unrecognizable as we come to realize there’s no going back to the way it was. The past is lost, and the future is uncertain.
Parents facing divorce is much like facing Autumn in the time of COVID. It produces “anticipatory anxiety”, that feeling of dread that accompanies unwelcome change. It is part of a painful divorce experience that, in many ways resembles the type of grief associated with tremendous trauma and loss. Professionals trained in the behavioral sciences identify this as the Grief Cycle (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD), which include five distinct emotions and thoughts: denial, anger, depression, bargaining (often experienced as wishful thinking, what if’s, and “only If I had . … Read More “Out of every ending, there is a new beginning”
All of the emotions that we see during the course of the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce process boil down to fear. I do not say that from my own expertise but from what I have heard over and over again from my colleagues in the mental health profession.
The first victim of any marriage that is going south is communication. As communication breaks down, people cannot solve problems together anymore. So, what they do is out of frustration and they start taking unilateral action. However, because we are in a relationship, what you do affects me. This is when the fear sets in. You lose control and you do not know what’s going to happen next and you don’t understand why your spouse is doing this to you.
This is when the fears arise and what it leads to is a tit for tat situation. It leads doing something that will make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. This back and forth starts to happen and it evolves. All of this happens before the client comes to us in the family law arena. This … Read More “Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce”
By Leslee Newman, Family Law Attorney, CDSOC Member
The pandemic of COVID-19 has swept us up and dramatically changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks. Our existence has become restricted, regulated, and different than we’ve ever known. We have all become isolated in our own homes. The freedom to come and go as we wish has been greatly altered. We cannot go to restaurants, to our offices and work sites, and to many public places. We cannot enter places of religious worship, attend lectures, professional meetings, go to the theater, to concerts, to movies, or even personally meet with friends. And our children cannot go to school. How traumatically sad for those students in the Class of 2020, graduating from high school and college.
With children now at home full-time, who cares for them, who teaches them, who keeps them busy, and prepares their meals? We are all prisoners of the Covid pandemic, isolating ourselves to avoid this terrible, and often deadly disease, especially for mature and older adults.