Choosing a Peaceful Divorce

Eleanor Roosevelt said “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

When a divorce occurs, one of the last adjectives people would use to describe the divorce process would be peaceful. The key to a peaceful divorce is mediation. By finding an attorney/ mediator you can trust you’ll gain the tools for peacemaking. A mediator will help you collaborate to resolve the conflict and create a satisfying settlement. When interviewing potential attorney mediators, ask the following questions in order to have a peaceful divorce:

• Is the mediator an attorney with legal and mediation training? It is critical that your mediator educates you about your legal rights and responsibilities, so you can negotiate the issues fairly and make informed decisions.

• Does your mediator play the role of being a neutral third party? Or will the mediator strong-arm you into doing only what he/she thinks will happen at court?

• Will the attorney-mediator prepare all the court documents and agreements but encourage you to take the opportunity to review and receive advice from independent council before you sign?

• Will you remain control? So you will only sign agreements once you are satisfied with the terms.

• Will your mediation sessions include your spouse? Or will the mediator use “shuttle diplomacy” and talk to each of you separately? Parties will trust each other more when everyone is in the same room.

• Will you and your spouse receive summary letters after each session documenting interim agreements, so you will have time to absorb the issues?

• To reduce stress, will your mediator work at your pace or will you be forced to adhere to a strict timeline?

In addition to finding a peaceful process, true peace starts from inside you! It is crucial to work on your own serenity and well-being. Perhaps seek a family therapist to address your legitimate feelings of hurt, loss, and disappointment. Dealing with these emotions is crucial to creating a peaceful divorce and a positive quality of life right now. Empower yourself with information about your legal rights. Make time to engage in activities that are stress relievers such as walking, running, yoga, or other forms of exercise.

You must end the vicious cycle of blame, guilt, and resentment. You and your spouse did the best you could at the time, given the tools you had. Concentrate on living in the present, for your own sake. Release the past because you cannot change it. Realize your sense of inner serenity will benefit you, your children, your spouse, and your future happiness.

Mari Frank has been an attorney/mediator for 26 years.  She’s a professor of negotiations/conflict management at the University of California; Radio host of Prescriptions for Healing Conflict;  author of several books; and she’s been on over 300 radio interviews and quoted in various national newspapers. Visit www.conflicthealing.com and www.MariFrank.com. View her profile on DivorceMagazine.com here.

 

1 comment

  1. Nic says:

    Nice article!

    Going through divorce is not a easy task.It is full on anger,hate,suffering,grief and resentment. But thankfully, there are many people out there who can help couples to overcome divorce without so much pain.:D

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