So, you’ve figured out that being together isn’t in your future anymore and it’s time to undo your relationship. That can be complicated.

Your first phone might be to a lawyer and that could be the best way to proceed.

However, if you think it’s at all possible to be cooperative rather than competitive, consider picking up a couple of books about divorce mediation.

Mediating Divorce: A Client’s Workbook
McKnight, Marilyn S., Erickson, Stephen K.; Paperback

Getting Apart Together: The Couple’s Guide to a Fair Divorce or Separation
Kranitz, Martin; Paperback

Rustic wooden sign with the words Together- ApartDivorce is really hard … chock full of emotion and inherent conflict.

Yet many couples who are separating have approached this conflict constructively and worked through the seemingly endless list of details to come to an amicable resolution.  And this includes couples with children.

One of the first things that you will have to accept is that nothing will be the same. And boy, that can feel really scary. But it’s so true.

So, how do you build a future and get through this period of transition?

Mediation can help to minimize the harm of divorce to families by encouraging separating couples to focus on similarities and shared needs rather than on differences.

One of the things I love about the books listed above is that they outline ‘homework’ to prepare for a mediation session on a particular topic.

Take for example, a parenting plan. Remember, in mediation, a judge isn’t going to make a decision for you. You will discuss your needs and those of your children with your partner. Before you can do that, you must figure out what your needs in fact are and only then, can you describe them to someone else.

Mediation is empowering and participatory and requires that both parties are willing to roll up their sleeves and work on a mutually acceptable solution.

If you can do it, “getting apart together” is the way to go. A huge thank-you for to Martin Kranitz for the title of this post. I couldn’t have captured it better.

Jeanette

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