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The Path to Peace: Why The “Goldilocks” Approach to Divorce is Ideal for All Members of Your Family

The #1 question our clients ask is “HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A DIVORCE??  

I’m sure you could guess, the answer is there’s no perfect time. (Have you watched the news lately?🤯)

But if you are contemplating divorce, deciding on when and how to move forward is totally different than knowing your marriage is over.  

Most KNOW, deep down, that their marriage is over, but are just afraid to say it out loud.  People stand in the shower trying to figure out when to speak up. They toss and turn running budgets in their heads. If you’re reading this, we suspect that you can relate!

But there is obviously never a perfect time to start dismantling your marriage, however, if you know your marriage is over, and you let fear hold you hostage, you are actually INCREASING the likelihood of a toxic divorce process. 

Why, you might ask??

For every couple, there is a “sweet spot,” for moving forward that supports a calm and efficient divorce process. To hit this “sweet spot,” you need to take the “Goldilocks” approach to divorce. You must avoid going either TOO FAST or TOO SLOW. Rather, the key is to find a pace that is “just-right” to avoid frustration of moving too slow, and the fear and trauma of moving too fast. 

Why the “sweet spot” is so important

Divorce is an undeniably turbulent phase in life, not just for the couples involved but for their entire family. We’ve learned that the approach taken during “the divorce” significantly affects the emotional and psychological well-being of everyone involved. Sometimes, the spouse that was “reluctant” wants to rush through the divorce when they realize it’s actually happening. The “tear off the band-aid” approach to divorce.  

But  the nuanced realities of ending a marriage make rushing much more stressful on everyone and traumatic for everyone, especially the kids involved. Adopting a slow and steady approach ensures a smoother family transition into this new way of life for your family and gives you the proper time to process everything mentally and emotionally.

The Rush to Resolve and Its Ripple Effects

There's a prevailing common thought that efficiency equals speed. However, when it comes to divorce, faster isn't always better. The immediate desire to "get it over with" can lead to rushed decisions, overlooked details, and, most critically, the emotional trauma that comes with sudden change. While rushing into an agreement might help you “get it over with,” these hastily made agreements could result in future conflicts, financial disputes, and, worst of all, lasting trauma for both children and adults involved.  In crafting any agreement, you want to take the time to think through future scenarios, and try to address as many future “what-ifs” as possible.  Having a conversation NOW about a potential future issue, is a huge help towards avoiding conflict that comes from unspoken expectations on both sides.

Children, in particular, are very susceptible to lasting scars that come from sudden change.  A rushed divorce process can leave them feeling insecure and confused, as they may not have the time or support to understand and cope with the changes. Moreover, when decisions are made in haste, the outcomes may not reflect the best interests of the family, leading to additional stress and adjustments down the line.

The Slow and Steady Approach: A Path to Healing

After working with dozens of families over the years, we can say unequivocally that moving too fast will land you in court due one spouse being afraid they are going to miss something or get taken advantage of. However, moving too slow is a recipe for disaster as well. If you move too slowly, the spouse who initiated the divorce will likely turn to lawyers because they are frustrated with the pace and think a lawyer is the only way to get their spouse’s attention. 

This isn't to say that the process should be drawn out at all. Rather, we’ve discovered that a slow and steady pace that gets you to the finish line in about six months gives the reluctant spouse time to adjust emotionally to what’s happening, and gives the eager spouse the satisfaction of feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking the time to consider decisions carefully and to approach the process with optimism for your future can lead to more amicable and sustainable outcomes. 

Here's how a slow and steady approach benefits families:

Thoughtful Decision-Making

Slowing down allows both parties to fully consider the implications of their decisions, especially those affecting custody, finances, and property division. This reflective process helps in reaching agreements that are fair and collaborative, reducing the likelihood of future conflicts.

Emotional Processing

Divorce is as much an emotional process as it is a legal one. Allowing time for emotional healing can prevent unresolved feelings from causing problems later. Through counseling and mediation, individuals can address their grief, anger, or guilt, leading to healthier co-parenting relationships and personal well-being.

Family Adjustment

A gradual process gives children and other family members time to adjust to the idea of divorce and the changes it brings. Through open communication and reassurance, families can maintain a sense of stability, even in times of change.  Most important, everyone gets to emotionally prepare for the transition to two households BEFORE it happens.

Long-term Stability

Decisions made with careful consideration are more likely to stand the test of time, leading to lasting agreements that don't require frequent modifications. This stability is crucial for the emotional health of children and the financial security of both partners.

Family Transitions: Your Partner Through the Process

At Family Transitions, we specialize in guiding families through the divorce process with compassion and expertise, getting you on a new healthy foundation in about six months. Our mediation services provide a neutral ground for couples to discuss and resolve their issues at a pace that suits them. We believe that by taking the time to address both the logistical and emotional aspects of divorce, families can achieve a resolution that respects the well-being of all involved.

Divorce will always be challenging, but it doesn't have to be traumatic. By adopting a slow and steady approach, families can navigate this transition with dignity, paving the way for healing and new beginnings. Divorce is a journey, and at Family Transitions, we're here to ensure it's a journey toward happiness. If you're facing divorce and want a process that values the well-being of your entire family, reach out to us. Together, we can make this transition a path to peace. 

And if you’re not ready to move into the actual divorce process, but the fear of the unknown is keeping you up at night, you might want to consider our self-paced course that gives you all the information you need so that you know what to expect and how to create a smooth family transition when the time comes. Contact us today to learn more!

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