No one enters a marriage with an eye on the emergency exit but if it does happen, there are ways to minimise the pain.
At risk of stating the obvious – divorce is devastating for all concerned. Whether it is your decision or not, to end your relationship the ripple effect reaches far and wide and no one emerges unscathed and unaffected by it.
I was listening to a news report this week of the interview between Adele and Oprah Winfrey in anticipation of the release of her new Album, 30. The Album chronicles the breakdown of her marriage from her husband Simon Konecki after eight years. Despite the fact that it was Adele’s decision to end the marriage, the guilt and sadness echo through her songs. Even though she remains on good terms with her husband, co-parenting their son; and they live across the street from one another, the new normal is not what either of them had planned for nor wanted at the outset. No one enters a marriage with an eye on the emergency exit but if it does happen, there are ways to minimise the pain.
As a specialist family lawyer I see people at the very early stages of their relationship breakdown, unsure as to what the future might hold. It is hard at that stage to understand what the options are or how the coming weeks and months will play out. There is, in most cases, a choice as to how you deal with this next stage and it often then comes as a relief to know that a divorce does not have to be nasty or destructive. There are alternative options that can help you retain an element of say in the process, like mediation or collaborative law. As a collaborative family lawyer we are trained to help our clients identify what is really important to them rather than looking at points of difference. We also find solutions that work best for the family and are tailored to their individual circumstances. This means that we can be much more creative and constructive than the traditional court setting. We often recommend that clients seek counselling or coaching as part of dealing with the process to put them in the best possible position to make decisions about their future.
Whilst we cannot guarantee homes across the street from one another, my experience is that collaborative law promotes ongoing positive relationships that will carry you through this period of extreme upheaval for many years to come, as the children move into adulthood and have children of their own.
As we move towards Good Divorce Week (29 November – 3 December 2021), there is a choice to be made about how you divorce which will echo for many years to come. There is light at the end of the tunnel, if as Adele says, you can “hold on”.
Published on 18 November 2021