Five reasons why self-help is vital when divorcing
By Peter Jones, founder
Anthea Turner’s announcement that her “awful divorce process” has inspired her to write a self-help book for others going through similar difficulties, underlines how many people are left bruised and unhappy by the experience.
While such books are rarely more than cathartic exercises that help nobody as there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are common experiences in a relationship breakdown which is often described as the equivalent of bereavement and is among life’s most stressful situations, complete with a ‘grieving cycle’. And, for most people, divorce is very sad – creating many feelings of insecurity and fear for the future.
Lingering unhappiness and dissatisfaction years later often comes from a bitter, protracted courtroom battle – rather than couples taking a less confrontational route where they could have worked together to reach agreement in a less costly, less traumatic way.
With this in mind, here are some key issues to consider for ‘self-help’ during divorce:
- Remember that just as every divorce is different, so is the way people cope. It is therefore important that they are represented by a Resolution solicitor who can expertly guide a client through the legal process.
- Working with like-minded lawyers who act for the other party in a non-confrontational process and are attuned to what is happening in their clients’ minds – is also crucial.
- Bear in mind that children are likely to be affected by the separation and will pay great attention to how their parents settle their differences. The less rancour and discord there is, the happier they will be; children want to see parents behave like grown-ups – not in ways they perceive as stubborn, petty or argumentative. Always remember the adage, ‘the more contention, the more damage’.
- Avoid fixating on minor matters at the cost of seeing the bigger picture. Many long-drawn out courtroom battles stem from the inflexibility of one or both parties, so be prepared to compromise and discuss issues constructively. It is a lot to ask separating couples to rise above the emotion, but experienced, empathetic lawyers make a massive difference, as they can guide, explain detail and suggest solutions while always acting in their clients’ best interests.
- With this in mind, also consider using life coaches who can help you make calm, logical decisions. At Jones Myers we suggest support – whether from an objective, sympathetic family member, friend or an accredited counsellor or relationship coach – if we feel it will help families to cope with a marriage breakdown and ensure that the children are put first and retain healthy relationships with both mum and dad.
- Concentrate, no matter how difficult, on the future. Overcome the distress, the hurt, and the pain; there will always be light at the end of the tunnel and the “nightmare” will come to an end. It is up to you and how you both behave as to how long that will take.
Collaborative lawyers can discuss alternative methods to courtroom battles for separating couples – enabling them to find the one that suits them.
Alternative methods include mediation, arbitration and collaboration and each is designed to make the process as quick and painless as possible, lessening costs and emotional expenditure for increased wellbeing.
If you have any comments, queries or concerns on wider divorce related issues, leave a comment below, call the Jones Myers team on 0113 246 0055 or tweet us on @helpwithdivorce.