here. The main idea of this article is that while the majority of divorcing couples still use lawyers, more and more couples are choosing to do a mediation type of divorce rather than the standard court divorce.
My divorce consisted of me and my attorney, and my ex-husband and his attorney. Also involved were accountants for each of us, a business appraiser, a realtor, and a home appraiser. So between the two of us, the total cost of our divorce was, well, really expensive. Probably very close to what our wedding and honeymoon cost. Sad, I know, very sad.
I wouldn't call my divorce 'friendly' just because of the simple fact that we were divorcing, so obviously there were issues between us and on top of that, pile on the division of assets, the division of debt, what to do with the house, drama regarding a business and child support. So, friendly? No. But we kept our anger, frustration and problems away from our kids. We were always amicable in front of the kids, it was not easy, but it was necessary.
The article suggests that a mediated divorce could cost just a thousand dollars. And when you are at the start line of divorce, that can sound really enticing. But there are a few things that need to be considered.
Divorce is usually a traumatic, emotional time and most of us don't think clearly or make the best of decisions
during traumatic, emotional times. So to guide yourself and look out for the best interests of your kids through such an extremely life changing event without legal representation, seems risky and scary to me.
The article also implies that lawyers "fight to get the best deals for their clients" and that can cause further pain and damage to an already faulty relationship. In my case, yes, my attorney did fight for me but I didn't hire her to get me the best deal. I didn't hire her to allow me to walk away with loads of assests and money. I hired her to be fair. It was never an interest of mine to gauge my ex-husband and our final divorce decree would prove that. I hired her because I needed to be sure I was covering all my bases. I needed someone who was looking out 100% for me and my best interests, which included my children.
Where the "friendly" part of divorce is important is after the papers have been filed and you begin your new lives, separate from one another but still connected by your children. The friendly part needs to come in during your day to day lives and the lives of your children.
Divorce is the cutting of ties with your spouse, legally and hopefully emotionally. Divorce is the end of two people as a couple and with that should come the burying of the issues that drove you there. It isn't easy, trust me. And it won't happen immediately. It will take time, but eventually there needs to be a peace and calm that your children can put trust in. Because any continuing friction between ex spouses just adds confusion and pain to the children.
I have struggled with the feeling of 'If I'm nice to him, he'll think I'm OK with ____________.' I didn't want my ex-husband to think that I was OK with some of the things he had done. But I slowly remembered and realized that I had clearly told him how I felt about all of those things. Many times I told him how I felt and what I thought, and I used an awesome variety of language and gestures to help prove my point. So it was time to just bury it. I try to see him now no longer as my ex-husband but as my children's dad. And that really helps me be friendly and civil with him.
As with many of life's biggest events, every situation is different. Most importantly, trust your feelings and your gut instincts. And if there are children involved, the 'friendly post divorce' is an important step to healing.