Seeking revenge in divorce proceedings rarely brings satisfaction. Separating and ending a marriage generates emotions for every participant. A "Good Divorce" is one that can be amicable based upon mutual cooperation and fairness,completed without the chance decisions of a Judge. Bad ones become adversarial, toxic and long-lasting, resulting in costly battles leaving emotional and financial scars. Some hints are:
1. Start with the end in mind. Decide early on the post mariage relationship you want to have with your ex. Do you want to part on good terms or have hostile exchanges that continue for years? Decide to cooperate with your spouse as long as the cooperation is reciprocated.
2. Take a long view towards the future. A good divorce lays the foundation for happiness and the well-being of your children. These couples enjoy friendships for many years, helping with closure and moving forward. Also, the children feel good about themselves when with either parent.
3. Do your homework. Think of where you want to be in 1-year and in 5-years. What will you need in order to get to the destination? How will the separation of finances allow you to make the transition? Do you even know what the finances and debts are? Become familiar with finances, for they will be a part of your future.
4. Get emotional support. Don't expect that you can maintain your usual routine over the course of months as the negotiations continue and you reach a final point. Even healthy closure is difficult. Say what you need to say, often in mediation, so that you can get items off your chest in order to move on.
5. Move beyond blame. Blame gives you a sense of being right, yet keeps the focus on the other person, leaving you feeling powerless. Moving beyond blame and taking responsibility for your future is emotionally beneficial and helps map out the future.
6. Choose a process that supports your goals. If you want conflict, bitterness or revenge, hire a lawyer, diving into the adversarial process. If you want a cooperative post-marriage relationship, choose mediation, using RI divorce mediator Steven J. Hirsch.
7. Be realistic about costs. Mediation may be less expensive than hiring attorneys to take you through the adversarial court process.
8. Invest in the best mediator you can find. Steven J. Hirsch has mediated hundreds of divorces since 1994. He was the Vice Chair of the American Bar Associations Section on Alternate Dispute Resolutions and wrote the chapter on Mediation in "A Practical Guide to Divorce in Rhode Island" (MCLE, Inc. 2009).
Reference: "8 Secrets to a Good Divorce" by Eileen Barker, Huffington Post, 4/11/12