If you could "do-over" your divorce ... in other words, approach the way in which you divorced your spouse differently, would you? What exactly would you do differently?
It's an interesting phenomenon that most people don't plan their divorces the way they plan their weddings. When planning most weddings, attention to every last detail is made from the height of the table flowers down to the paper used for the invitations. Most modern weddings are seemingly effortless, fluid and graceful. To what can we attribute this appearance of ease and simplicity? My guess is that it's due to the increasing use of wedding planners, hired by many couples, who seek to be guided through the maze of wedding event planning in our society. The fear that without such a guide, enormous, expensive blunders may be made drives the behavior. The benefit of engaging this professional is that wedding planners take the lead in showing the couple options for the venue, the florist selections, the proper attire, catering choices, etc. etc. etc. The wedding planner plays an invaluable role to a couple as they embark on creating their perfect, flawless, big day!
So why is it that most of those same people, facing the inevitability of divorce years later, don't also approach the divorce planning process in a similar fashion? Why, instead of engaging a professional "divorce planner," to orchestrate their "divorce day" in the same way that the wedding planner orchestrates the wedding day, do they instead choose to stumble through the divorce process like a blind mouse in a maze? Is it fear of the unknown? Is it persuasion by friends or family who push their own agendas? Is it simply a lack of understanding that there exists an equivalent to the antithesis of the wedding planner ... the divorce coach?
Think of the divorce coach as the orchestra leader, football coach, movie producer or any other metaphor that describes the person who coordinates the team effort required to get the job done. Divorce planners (a.k.a., divorce coaches) are instrumental to individuals or couples, who are contemplating divorce. These professionals orchestrate all of the steps of the divorce process from interviewing potential family law mediators or divorce attorneys to appearing before a judge at a final hearing. Rather than stumbling through the unknowns of the divorce process, forcing parties into being reactive instead of proactive, and often causing parties to spend more time and money than they should, divorce coaches shepherd their clients step-by-step.
Every divorce circumstance is unique to the parties themselves. While many of the issues requiring resolution may be similar from case to case, such as calculation of child and/or spousal support, equitable distribution of marital assets or devising a parenting plan, the particular needs of each party are often different. Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all event, and should be approached as thoughtfully and as carefully as the wedding event was designed. Among other benefits, divorce coaches can help a couple:
• evaluate whether they would be better served using litigation or mediation;
• select the team of divorce professionals, such as family law attorneys and/or mediators, forensic accountants, therapists, etc.; and
• understand the actual mechanics of the divorce process to help minimize costs.
Looking back retroactively, many divorcing couples have many regrets about how their divorce "went down." They regret the emotional toll it had on their children and themselves. They regret the amount of money wasted litigating over spousal and/or child support. They regret the time and effort required to resolve what should and could have been resolved more amicably. If they could do it over, many of them would.
If you could do it all over again, what aspects of your divorce would you do differently?