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Divorce Planning: Ask Tough Questions - Start Where You Are

Whether involved in a RI divorce mediation or working with a divorce lawyer, parties need to consider tough questions.

"An entrepreneur was lost in the mountains of Colorado. For hours she searched for land she was hoping to buy. Eventually, she saw an old cowboy by the side of the road. She stopped the car, rolled down her window, and asked for directions. The cowboy said he knew the place and it was quite easy to get to. The entrepreneur complained she'd been driving for hours since she left Denver and couldn't find it. The cowboy responded: "Your problem is you started in the wrong place. You should've started from here."

"It's a lot easier to talk about future goals than to take a clear-sighted look at our current situation and ask the tough questions: How did we get here? How is what we're doing serving us? What is it that you want?"

Those three questions need to be considered in a carefully focused direction. Consider the first question: "How did we get here?"  Do not look to assess blame. Look at what changed or caused the change in the quality of communication so a new pattern can be achieved.  Look at what are the current finances and how did the current financial picture developed - how did the assets grow and/or what dissipated the assets. How did child-rearing work to get the children to the point that they are presently?

The second question is: How is what we're doing serving us? Are we fostering communication by our current actions? Are we wasting assets or increasing debts when we need to increase our assets and decrease debt so that each party can move forward to the next portion of his or her life? Are we creating anxiety in the children? Are we ruining the children's love for either parent?

Finally, consider "what is it that you want?"  Focus on important interests to allow a transition to the next portion of your life. Interests such as revenge, humiliation of the other and punishment are costly and rarely was successfully obtained. Interests to consider include (1) What is best for the children? (2) How can we split finances so that we can afford to meet reasonable goals? (3) How do I protect myself with health insurance?

Call Steve Hirsch as a mediator or as a Rhode Island divorce lawyer, as he can help you answer the questions posted above. Starting with the wrong questions can lead to frustration while focusing on the right questions can lead to clarity and settlement.

The quoted story is from "Small Shifts" by Richard Magid, President of Soundboard Consulting Group

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