Divorce: What are my options?

In thinking about the choices one has when faced with the certainty of divorce, a question that often arises for people is, “Does it really matter how we do it? ”   If  life after divorce is something you are concerned about – (and it often is) –  then there is plenty of reason to be concerned about which legal process you and your spouse choose for the dissolution of your marriage.

What makes for a better life after divorce?

-an exerpt from the recently published ebook “Divorce: What are my options?” on Amazon.com

Let me start with this:  A ‘better’ divorce makes for a better life after divorce.

Why do we divorce professionals insist that “post-divorce adjustment” is so important? …

The answer is that it represents the rest of your life!  In other words, the life that you and your children, or future children and possibly your future spouse or partner, have to look forward to.

It’s the #1 biggest concern that divorcing parents have – how will my children fare after the divorce, as a result of the divorce? Will they be damaged by our divorce? How can we make it easier for them?  Important questions.

Research indicates that positive adjustment post-divorce is related to a number of factors, such as

  • age,
  • education,
  • socioeconomic status,
  • gender,

most of which are pre-determined; you have little choice about these factors.

However, there is some additional evidence that tells us there are certain factors that affect post-divorce adjustment which are not predetermined, …

and therefore within your ability to change or alter.  This is great news, as it means that you are not helpless in the face of divorce. You can have an impact on the quality of your divorce and your post-divorce life!

***Several studies of divorce outcomes indicate that people who feel a greater sense of control during the divorce process experience less stress and report greater levels of satisfaction in their post-divorce lives. ***

(Feeling ‘in control’ is an antidote to anxiety and helps people manage stress of all kinds. )

The perception that you have ‘control’ in a stressful situation is dependent on

  • a belief that your needs and concerns will at least be acknowledged, if not actually addressed.

and …

  • a belief that you will not be forced or coerced into decisions that are against your best interests.

Surprisingly, another factor that leads to happier post-divorce lives is

  • an ongoing relationship with the  former spouse

NOTE: This factor may be difficult for some people to accept, as the emotions that are associated with divorce are typically unpleasant, and are usually directed at – who else? – the spouse. This is a fairly normal initial reaction for anyone whose dreams for lifelong love and partnership are crushed.  However,

if the hostility and blame toward your former spouse are indulged for too long, the result is a sort of “stuckness” in misery and unpleasantness, rather than a rebuilding of life.

When you give this idea some thought, you will probably see that there is good reason to think about the tone of your divorce. If you have a long, acrimonious battle of a divorce, what do you imagine your relationship with your former spouse will look like afterward?

This is a factor where you can directly have some control. Your choice of a legal process, to start, is a determining factor in the tone of your divorce. Consider your options: Litigation, mediation, or collaborative divorce.

Ann Randolph Cerney, MS LCPC 

Hear more from Ann at www.blogtalkradio.com/cppil 2/8/11 broadcast.


For a look at her new book “Divorce: What Are My Options?” for Kindle, visit http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LB55WW.

One Response to “Divorce: What are my options?”
  1. carlmichaelrossi says:

    Ann will be with us today live at 1:00 Central to talk about her practice and her new book and to take questions. Hope you’ll join us!

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