A couple of weeks ago I read a tragic story: A father drove himself, his wife and children a lake in Arizona. At first I assumed it was an accident, but the Police investigation determined that it was actually a murder-suicide. Relatives the young family explain that the couple was married in 2012 and they had separated a few months before. These fatal-divorce stories are not limited to the US. Recent numbers indicate that these types of tragedy are also on the rise in Europe. Today I will give you some tips to make your divorce as stress-free as possible.
‘A divorce process should be as fast and efficient as possible!’
Too often I see couples stuck in a long and drawn-out process of divorce. Sometimes it’s almost like they are addicted to the misery of getting divorced, unable to make a positive new start. This in-between stage creates a lot of uncertainty and usually makes bad situations much worse. Lengthy legal procedures do not help, however, I’m personally convinced that we can learn the skills to avoid unnecessary drama and chaos, by taking the time to correctly handle the challenges of divorce
In nearly every country in the world divorce is a complex and lengthy process, plagued by old-fashioned client services and legal structures. Some situations will naturally take longer than others, but the longer a divorce procedure takes, the bigger the financial impact is. The pressure of mounting legal bills, the negativity between the couple and the inability to move forward can bring out the worst in even the most patient people.
The key is to make the process as swift and efficient and possible.
‘Ask the ‘Why’ question’
Separation has a huge emotional impact, which only increases after the D-word is used. Still, couples can choose to split-up in a positive or civil way. Use your strengths. For example, you could create a timetable for your divorce process, deciding on days that everything should be arranged, with the goal of a fixed date to end the divorce process, and to start your new life.
During the agreed upon timeframe, it is crucial to answer the ‘the WHY question’ and that is “Why do you both want to split-up?” Many couples never take the time to ask and answer this question, which causes trouble and misunderstanding in the long run. I always compare the ‘WHY-question’ with a missing person. Without the answering the pressing questions, it is very difficult to move on. Just as when a person is missing, loved ones can only move on when the person is found, even if they are dead.
I’m a huge proponent of not making divorce more complicated than necessary. If the situation allows it, I urge you move quickly to avoid the possibility of your divorce becoming a never-ending story. Here some of the reasons divorce should not drag on:
• Money: A well-known source of conflict in relationships, money problems often continue throughout the divorce process. The longer a divorce takes, the more expensive it is. Continued fights and struggles about money only add to the chaos and pain.
• Uncertainty: Lengthy divorce creates a long phase of uncertainty. Both parties feel stuck, as they lose hope and faith that there is a way out. This is especially difficult for people suffering from emotional and mental illness.
• Relationship gap: A lot divorce procedures start with a joint goal of keeping the procedure as positive as possible. With each day the divorce is delayed, the ‘joint goal’ fades, seeming more and more difficult to reach. Soon to be exes will each start looking ahead into their new lives with new goals, friends, and love interests, only to find that they are still technically trapped in their marriages.
• Personal environment friends, & family: As time goes by more people will take sides and offer their opinions, which may not always be helpful. It’s my experience that friends & family can function as fuel to a burning fire, making divorces much more complicated.
• New lovers: It’s normal during shaky and uncertain periods for people to seek out new lovers and partners to fill growing feelings of emptiness. These ‘post-divorce relationships’ seldom become long-term, but can be very harmful for the divorce procedure, inspiring jealousy and vindictiveness in ex-partners. Discretion and sensitivity towards your ex can help avoid a potential nightmare.
I am certainly not claiming that my tips would have prevented the fatal situation in Arizona. However, remaining proactive and avoiding unnecessary divorce complications will help you make the transition much smoother. It’s my personal mission to simplify and expedite the divorce process, so that matters don’t drag on and people can have another chance, making a positive start at a new life.
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