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Divorce Stories – Believe it or not, they have heard them all

Divorce is often a vortex of insanity! You wouldn’t believe the stories. Lowering suitcases by bungee cord out of a 2nd floor window to the car below, bank statements re-created in Photoshop, spouse overheard discussing his deep spirituality with the object of his overt affair while his pregnant wife is at home, kids having to change clothes in the car so they would not take the clothes ”she” bought them to “his” house, mother handing off small child to the father in front of his apt only to discover he was homeless and sleeping with the child on a park bench (the judge didn’t see anything wrong with “sleeping outside,”) the Valentine’s day necklace is now “an investment in diamonds” not a gift, 911 calls and CPS reports. This is the tiniest and cleanest sliver of the endless anecdotes that define the chaos and underbelly of divorce. It is all that and more. The “you can’t make this stuff up” anecdotes.

It is crazy-making. And it is all-consuming. And if you don’t laugh, you cry, a lot. Divorce might be a source of entertainment on TV or in film, but when you are smack dab in the middle of it, it is anything but entertaining. The message here is simply this. You are not crazy and while it might feel as if no one in the world has faced what you are facing, that is not true. The isolation and the lingering social taboo is real.  Close to 2 million people walk through the door each year and those are just the ones who make the move, not the many others contemplating it or are too afraid to take the step.

The problem is that the divorce professionals and the courts have heard it all, too. So when you walk in owning the extraordinary stories that make up your life, they rarely have the impact you hope and expect. The system is so desensitized to the horror of bad behavior that you are simply another case. And a case with this type of complexity means a more expensive and protracted case which is a great thing for them but the worst possible situation for you.

The most important thing to consider is what is the end game. Is it just getting out? Is it to get the court to see what you have put up with and punish your spouse? Is it to use the narrative to extract a financial or parenting penalty? For the professionals who have seen and heard it all, your situation is simply a case with a strategy. It can be frustrating when they do not share your outrage, but they spend every day on cases replete with bad behavior, and as trained legal professionals, their job is to focus on moving it through a legal process. That process is often at odds with solving a family and/or financial problem to anyone’s satisfaction. Spouses often have more power than they realize to manage the process and manage their professionals to an agreement. It starts with the right mindset that recognizes the deep imperfection of the system and the cost-benefit to getting out and moving forward. We always support spouses to be informed and empowered to participate in the process and do whatever is possible to bring the conflict to an end so that life can begin again.

 

Are you thinking about divorce? dtour.life can help you gain clarity as you start the process. With divorce education, financial and parenting tools, our platform helps you prepare for this journey. Easily build net worth statements, document living and child expenses, develop spending plans and settlement scenarios to help you move forward with both eyes open. You are not alone!

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of, and access to, this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Dtour, Inc., dtour.life or any affiliate of Dtour, Inc. and the user or browser.  Any opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Dtour, Inc. or dtour.life.

 

 

Divorce = Uncomfortable Change

“We are getting a divorce.” Did you really just say that out loud?

There are no “top 10” lists or spiritually enlightened comments that I can offer to calm the tsunami of emotion and mental gymnastics that are now flooding your body and brain. For some, it is the shattering of how one defined oneself, for others it is the fear of being alone, or the fear of being financially challenged, or not being able to parent the same way. For many it is dominated by rage and betrayal, and in some cases, it brings a feeling of profound relief and liberation. No matter what the situation, it is for everyone, uncomfortable change.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. So here is the enlightened comment I can offer, life happens. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to stop it from happening. Whether it is cancer, a life-changing accident, a business failure, or even a natural disaster, significant life transitions, like divorce, happen. It happens to family, to neighbors, to colleagues, to your boss, to your child’s school teacher, to your bus driver, to so many people. It happens. The problem is, you definitely never thought it would happen to you. So, now what?

As a major life transition comprised of emotional layers, a complex business transaction and an entirely new family dynamic, the weight of it collapses us. From day one of just thinking about it to many months or even years later when it has been completed, it is a painful process of change to absolutely everything that was. 

Some people are wired to embrace change and thrive with it. Others are thrown into a complete tailspin because stability supports and protects them. The key to divorce, and likely a factor that contributes to the chaos and systemic failure, is that it is different for everyone. The mindset, the facts, the emotional impact, the family situation -everyone has a different experience and a different reaction and response. But for everyone it represents change.

Divorce professionals can be unintentionally insensitive to the anxiety we feel around change. They will casually toss around the fact that you’ll sell the house or a parenting schedule where you don’t get to take the kids to school activities, or the fact that you have to go back to work full-time. Whatever the scenario, it is the profound and sometimes psychologically debilitating change that is being forced upon you due to circumstances beyond your control. For many, this is the essence of divorce - the emotional response to the upheaval and uncertainty and endlessly uncomfortable change.

So, how to embrace change? Divorce brings grief over a significant ending, but it can also represent new beginnings and hope. Even the smallest step forward each day is a step toward establishing new routines. It is a chance to redirect our day with a new approach to time and schedule, open new doors, create new relationships and re-define the parts of us that may have been set aside in a marriage. It is important to acknowledge and work through the grief and any resistance to change, which for some might be through work with a mental health professional, reaching out to friends and family for deeper connection, or indulging in an activity or interest you haven't been able to pursue. In a divorce, many people spend a lot of time looking backward, but it is essential to also look forward. The changes brought on by divorce are undoubtedly uncomfortable but as a hopeful optimist, I believe in the transformation of uncomfortable change to unimaginable happiness for the long-term.

Are you thinking about divorce? dtour.life is a divorce management platform to help you along the way. With divorce education, financial and parenting tools, our platform helps you prepare for this journey and work closely with any divorce professional you hire by allowing you to securely and seamlessly share case documentation. Calculate your net worth , living and child expenses, budgets, and settlement scenarios to help you move forward with both eyes open. You are not alone!

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of, and access to, this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Dtour, Inc., dtour.life or any affiliate of Dtour, Inc. and the user or browser.  Any opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Dtour, Inc. or dtour.life.

 

Divorce – Just another example of a natural disaster

We recognize that the conversation around divorce is fragmented, emotional, confusing, and reflects the general chaos that prevails in every household going through the dreaded process.

 

Did anyone really grow up and imagine falling in love, having a storybook wedding, buying a house, bringing home a baby, celebrating romantic anniversaries, discovering addiction issues, uncovering personality disorders, experiencing financial ruin, discovering infidelity, having your husband tell you he wants a divorce, having your wife tell you she wants a divorce, having to move out of your beloved home, spending half of your life savings on lawyers, splitting the other half with your ex, splitting the baby in half, moving in with your parents at 45, and living unhappily ever after? Really?

 

We tend to forget that NO ONE dreams of divorce. NO ONE plans for the marriage to end in divorce. It has happened and now we have a fact over which we all have control. Yes, of course, the toll of the emotional roller coaster and the shattering of an illusion or how we defined ourselves is not to be underestimated. There must be appropriate compassion and allowances for this, but, we HAVE to find a way to address the pain and emotional issues and at the same time handle the divorce process so that we can be in control of our own destiny rather than abdicate to an impersonal and imperfect legal system.

 

You know the film footage of those horrific natural disasters that we now tend to see more frequently? You see people walking through the fragments of their homes with their possessions scattered in pieces on the ground. They are speechless as they assess the destruction. Something happened to them that they had never planned, and your heart just breaks for what they are going through. You cannot imagine what it must be like to walk in their shoes. They have lost everything and wonder how they are going to pick up the pieces and start over. They have no one to blame, except the weather, and they always reflect an extraordinary human spirit and determination to survive, re-build and move on, stronger than before.

 

In divorce, we tend to focus on the blame and direct all of our energy at the other person for creating the devastation. Or, we put all of our focus into the land grab and how to “get” as much as we can, or give as little as we can. What if we shifted that perception, found a way to accept that an unplanned natural disaster has occurred, to both parties, and put all of our energy and resources into solving the problem on all fronts- emotional, financial, family, co-parenting. Some of you might say, “he” or “she” had a choice and this disaster didn’t have to happen. That may be true, but it all comes back to the fact that we are not in control, the disaster is now a fact, so how are we going to show up and manage our own way through without allowing it to destroy the future, too?

 

Interestingly, when a natural disaster occurs, families and community come rushing to your side with resources, support, even tax relief - whatever is needed to carry you and your family through the re-building phase. So why is it so quiet when we are getting a divorce? What is it about divorce that prevents people from providing whatever assistance they can provide? Sadly, in our culture, you are better off in an earthquake, flood, or tornado, than in a divorce.

 

So, it is up to each family to find its own path through its own private natural disaster, and the more we are able to adopt a mindset that allows for this, the more empowered we will be to own the process and seek a solution for both parties and the entire family.

 

When you look at those people walking amidst the wreck and ruin of their homes you think, how are they going to do it? How do they go to work, continue to earn a paycheck, manage their family’s basic day-to-day needs, address any emotional fall-out as a result of what has happened, find a place to live, figure out whether to re-build, deal with insurance companies, and just manage the next six months, not to mention the next 16 years. Sound familiar? And, in divorce you get all this and the loss of your best friend, your life partner, the person who knows you the best. Just getting through the next day feels impossible. But the alternative is to let a system of professionals take over, burn through hard-earned dollars and leave you feeling even more out of control. We have to change our mindset. We have to become more informed, more empowered and navigate the transition to a new life without allowing this version of a natural disaster to prevent a successful future.

 

Are you thinking about divorce? dtour.life can help you gain clarity as you start the process. Our divorce software lets you manage the entire divorce process from a single dashboard. One-click digital sharing with your attorney saves you time and money. Financial tools, parenting tools, and divorce information help you move forward with both eyes open. You've got this!

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of, and access to, this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Dtour, Inc., dtour.life or any affiliate of Dtour, Inc. and the user or browser. Any opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Dtour, Inc. or dtour.life.