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Avoid Attorneys Fees and Court With An Amicable Divorce


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Are you interested in an amicable divorce? Are you hoping to avoid a divorce with court and a lot of attorneys fees? Having an uncontested and amicable divorce is a goal for many people. Some people come to me and say, “I wish I had known about collaborative law when I was going through a divorce.” You see, a lot of people who are facing divorce don’t actually choose the divorce. Many people are stuck with a spouse’s revelation that there will be a divorce, and now it’s time to proceed with a divorce. What if you could meet your spouse with the line, “Ok – you want to divorce? I’m hurt, angry and I may be hurt and angry for a long time. But I want to use collaborative law.”

A lot of people are surprised that an amicable divorce is possible, but it is. It won’t be perfect, and it won’t be easy, but you can divorce without destroying your kids or your lives.

The other night, I was walking my dogs when a strange person who I had never met walked out of a neighbor’s house. You see, all summer, I had not walked the dogs in the evening – it was just too hot. Now, it was cooling down. So, apparently were tempers and hurt for this family. He was the former husband of my neighbor, standing outside the home with the kids. Their history is theirs to share. Knowing what I know, the tip of their iceberg, if they can be friends – if they can have dinner with their kids! – so can you.

Kids Come First: Your Ex Is 50% Of Your Kids

The children you share are your main reason for initiating any kind of cordial relationship. The kids are watching you and your ex-spouse, and they are taking notes on how they will treat and be treated by others. Children are sponges, and they carry the weight of what the absorb:

We know that events that occur in early childhood are important for healthy brain development and mental wellbeing. Research suggests that these events may be specifically relevant to depression in adulthood. Traumatic events in childhood, such as death, divorce, abuse and/or serious illness have the ability to interrupt the normal development of the brain.

Writes Callie Patterson, for Shier Private Practices of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Children struggle when their parents reject each other, explains Mike DeMoss MAPC, LAC:

When rejection occurs in the family, especially between the parents when they separate or divorce, or even when they never come together, the entire family and especially the children, suffers.

A woman and child holding hands on the beach, enjoying a serene moment together by the sea.
Your Kids Can Be Allowed to Love Both Parents

Tools to Help You Get On The Path To An Amicable Divorce

Being friendly to someone who may have caused you pain and stress can be difficult. But if you want an amicable divorce, and you want to build a bridge toward future mutual respect, there are a few concrete steps that may benefit you and your kids.

1. Take Care of You

Mental and physical wellness go a long way toward creating a new identity after you realize you will divorce. Maybe you didn’t want the divorce, but you know that divorce is inevitable. You need to take care of yourself in order to care for anyone else. Journeys Counseling Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, addresses the benefit of counseling for recovery.  As they explain:

Much like setting a broken bone so that it can heal properly, counseling post-divorce can help you find the right path for emotional and relational healing. Many of our clients recover from a divorce and feel stronger as they pursue relationships post-divorce.

Focus on your individual physical health at this point as well.  Taking a path of depression or feeling all is lost isn’t a required rite of passage, however. According to Callie Patterson, writing for Shier Private Practice:

when the fight or flight response is activated due to psychological stress, and there is no physical release of hormones, cortisol levels may build up, affecting mental wellness…

And, let’s not forget your faith in a higher power. You don’t have to take a path of depression or believe that all is lost. Many faiths meet you at your circumstances and embrace you for your history. Writes Mike DeMoss:

Tim Jackson in his “When Fear Seems Overwhelming” takes a look at what the Bible teaches about the source of our fears, why we fear, how fear helps or harms us and how we can overcome debilitating fears that hinder healthy living. The Bible uses words like fear, afraid, terror, dread, anxious, tremble, shake and quake over 850 times to portray this core human emotion.

2. Let It Go

The threat you faced during divorce is over. It’s time to let it go, so you can truly go from the place where you were to the place where you want to be.

As Ms. Patterson explains for Shier Private Practice:

Tracing back to our evolutionary beginnings, the body has been equipped with automatic physical reactions to protect us from threatening situations. Interestingly though, the body is not able to distinguish an imminent danger from feelings of stress, and reacts to negative emotional arousal in the same way it would to an approaching threat. As a part of this process, the body produces elevated levels of certain neurochemicals that we refer to as stress hormones.

If you can’t move forward, how can your children, who share one-half your DNA and are forever connected to your ex-spouse? If you want a lower conflict, amicable divorce, then keep your focus on your goal. Some relationships take longer than others to develop, and when you are trying to re-create a relationship, there are layers of shared history that you have to cut through. Cutting through the layers that led you to this divorce will be like cutting an onion. Cutting that onion may prompt a few tears. Tears are the body’s way of releasing. It would be so interesting to know how much cortisol is contained in tears…but we need to talk about forgiveness now.

Woman and child on hilltop with serene water backdrop.
Navigating New Territory

3. Get the Best Revenge: Forgive Well and Live Well

You may not immediately forgive the other parent.  In fact, it may take some time and a few steps in-between. Whoever said living well is the best revenge was right. Any living person has endured heartache and loss, and living well has been my go-to. I simply cannot stand to live in dissatisfaction with my life or with someone else.

But as we said, there are a few steps in-between. What is living well? For one, it is diet, exercise and care for the mind and soul. It is also about being mindful of your fears and your body’s reaction to threatening stimuli. Finally, it is a change in communication. One suggestion offered by Phoenix Co-Parenting Counselor Jody Peary:

Learn to convert your complaints of the other parent into requests for behavioral change from that parent. Beginning requests by using phrases such as, “Would you be willing to:’ “I’m wondering if it is possible for you to:’ etc., demonstrates both respect and politeness to the other parent, which will go a long way toward establishing cooperation and softening anticipated resistance..

What if you treated your ex-spouse not like the despicable person they were, but like the person you are today? You’re someone who has made mistakes, lost a few battles, won a few more, and you didn’t always know the right step to take at the right time. What would that look like for your kids? Even if you don’t believe it at first, with time, you may start to believe it – and live it.

Call us today to talk about the legal way to obtain an amicable divorce. There is a new law in Arizona called Collaborative Law, and if you are struggling with conflict, it may be because you didn’t know about collaborative law. We’ll set you on the right path. Call 480-999-0800.

Want to know more about the laws that may apply to your divorce?

For information on Spousal Maintenance, click here.  For information on parenting time in Arizona, consider reading this article or looking at this statute.

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