Trend Toward a “Good Divorce”
Recently some high profile celebrity divorces have raised some attention to what has been called the “good divorce,” that is, a divorce where the former spouses stay friends, continue to spend time together as a family, and otherwise make the transition from married to divorced as smooth and painless as possible. For example, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner separated but still went on a family vacation together with the kids. Gwyneth Paltrow called her divorce a conscious uncoupling.
A good divorce should be the goal of everyone, especially if you have kids. There are simply no winners in a bad divorce, except maybe the lawyers, because as everyone knows the more you fight, the more expensive it is. There are, of course, legitimate issues which may require a hard fight, such as the safety of the children, but in most divorces that end up “bad” it is because of the stubbornness of one or both of the spouses.
How to Achieve a Good Divorce
So what needs to happen to be able to achieve the good divorce? One reason why it is so difficult to have a good divorce is because the very nature of divorce is combative and it is emotional. When you mix emotions with anger and hurt, logic is overcome, and the law is all about logic. As difficult as it may be, each party needs to approach the divorce like a business decision. Nearly every part of a divorce can be approached businesslike, except for custody of the kids of course, but even then if each party will take a step back and really think about what is best for the children the case can be resolved quickly to the benefit of all.
When parties make the divorce about them and how they have been wronged and how they can get “justice” it then becomes a bad divorce. We like to help our clients achieve a “good divorce” and we do that by engaging in settlement discussions and mediation as soon as possible to avoid the messiness and costs associated with heavy litigation. Sometimes an early settlement is unavoidable and we’re equally equipped for the long fight as well.