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Are You Contemplating Divorce?
Divorce and separation are probably two of the most stressful life events, good or bad, that people endure with the death of a spouse being first on the list. Other such events would be death of a close relative, personal injury or illness, breakup of an affair, a jail term, marriage, loss of a job, marital reconciliation, retirement, illness of a close relative, pregnancy, sex difficulties, business readjustment, change in financial status, work change, spousal disagreements, child leaving home, in-law problems, outstanding personal achievement, change in living conditions/residence/social activities, life changes, vacation, Christmas, minor violations of the law.
Knowing about the toll that divorce takes on couples and how to deal with them can be helpful to those who are contemplating divorce.
I have been a practicing divorce mediator for almost thirty years and, before that, a facilitator for therapeutic groups of fifteen to twenty men and women going through separation and divorce. It was, in fact, those groups and the knowledge I gained from the participants along the way that impelled me to become a mediator. I facilitated these groups for a total of twenty-seven years, both before and after I became a mediator.
In those groups, I saw ravages of the adversarial divorce process that ruled the courts, ravages that included the children of divorce. Group members would reveal their experiences, their emotions, their feelings of helplessness, and the inevitable escalation of hostilities between them and their spouses. These men and women would receive support from the other participants and some insight and strategies from the facilitators to help them get on with healthy lives.
My love and concern for these people led me to wonder if there was a better way than the scarring adversarial divorce. Win-lose.
And, I discovered that mediation is the better way. Win-win
The filing spouse must file and serve a verified complaint stating grounds for the divorce. In addition to the verified complaint there are other documents that must be filed including Affidavits and a Marital Settlement Agreement setting out division of property, spousal and child support.
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