One of you wants out, or maybe both of you. The disappointment, rage, anger or fear you may be feeling is understandable but it isn't going to help you. It is easy to give in to the "dark side" and veg out in front of the TV, feeling sorry for yourself while you eat half a gallon of ice cream. We have all been there at one time or another. That is not our higher self at our best!!! So what are your options at this point?

If this divorce is not your idea, you may be tempted to find the worst snake (divorce lawyer) in the phone book and just go for the jugular. The problem with that option is, I guarantee that you will end up broke, stressed, furious at your ex, your lawyer, the judge and everyone else involved in the process and if you have children together, THEY are the ones who will get caught in the crossfire while the two of you go at it in court. Nothing is more unsatisfying than some judge telling you what to do when you know the result is not fair. The only way to avoid this scenario is to work together in mediation.

Most people are not familiar with divorce mediation. They don't know what the difference is between mediation and arbitration so let me explain it to you. Arbitration is like an informal court. Each side usually has lawyers who argue their case in front of someone who acts like a judge. That person will make a decision that may or may not be binding on the parties, depending on whether or not they are doing binding arbitration. Some stranger ends up telling you what to do. Mediation is completely different. No one tells you what to do. The two of you will decide what works best for your situation. I believe that the best mediators for divorcing couples are divorce lawyers who primarily, if not exclusively, do nothing but divorce mediation. An experienced divorce lawyer has heard all the stories, has seen what happens in court for most common situations and has a good idea of what the judge would do. They can let the couple know what the laws are and guide them through this complicated process but do it in a way that helps them find a solution instead of dragging out the case so they can line their own pockets.

You have already heard the awful stories about divorce court, divorce lawyers and unfair results. Chances are you or someone very close to you was the child of a divorce, so you know the high emotional price children pay when their parents are fighting. People who have children MUST cooperate with each other for the sake of the children. This is YOUR divorce not theirs. When parents are so consumed with their own pain and disappointment, it is hard for them to see what their children are going through. Now is the time for parents to agree to be fair and honest with each other. There is no honor in hiding assets or pretending you earn less than you do in order to lower support. If the person paying support feels like the other parent can't be trusted to spend the money only on what the children need, then they can make arrangements to pay the rent or mortgage payment directly. They can be responsible for paying all the utility, food, cable tv, kid's clothing costs or other payments that directly affect the children. There is no reason to be cheap with each other. The children are the ones who are going to suffer.

It doesn't matter whose idea the divorce is. There is no point in blaming the one who wants out. You can't make someone love you and you can't stop a divorce. Would you curse the sky because you can't fly? Would you try to fight gravity? Well this is the same thing. There is no point in making things worse by fighting what IS. Once you stop struggling and accept the inevitable, you actually feel more at peace. So here is the choice, are you going to lawyer up and fight or are you going to be smart and work together? You can split a pie in half so that each side gets more or give the lawyers their cut too. You know you will get more if you cut the lawyers out of the deal. This is why mediation is such a smart option. You can get all the legal information you need from the mediator. Tell them you want to know if you are following the law and what the court would probably do. You can deviate from the norm if you want to, it is your choice. The terms of your divorce will fit you better if the two of you fashioned them instead of a one size fits all solution imposed by the court.

You live your life out of your intention. What kind of divorce are you going to have? Will it be nasty and expensive where the two of you will both suffer while the lawyers get rich or will you play it cool, calm and collected and take care of business while keeping your head? The more emotional and irrational you are, the harder it will be for you to keep your eye on the prize which is either getting the best deal for yourself or doing what is in the best interest of the kids. One of those should be everyone's goal. You can only have a peaceful divorce through cooperation. Cooperation will only happen in mediation. Going to court is an emotional and financial death sentence. So the choice is yours. You can get a divorce without killing each other in the process if you do mediation. Litigation is a knife fight. Choose.


Author's Bio: 

Ms. Rachman has been a family law attorney since 1996 but she has a Masters in Special Education and taught severely emotionally disturbed children for many years. Unlike many divorce lawyers, her focus in on doing only what is in the best interest of the children. To watch a very informative video showing why you should consider mediation, go to


This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Divorce. The Official Guide to Divorce is Carolyn Ellis. Carolyn founded Thrive After Divorce, Inc. to provide success strategies and resources for separated and divorced individuals. She is the author of "The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive after Divorce", which was awarded the prestigious Publisher's Choice designation by her publisher. She is also the co-author of "Power and Soul", with Alexandria Brown, the Million Dollar Marketing Coach. Carolyn is also the host of an award-winning podcast, "The Divorce 101 Show." She is a Harvard University graduate, a Certified Master Integrative Coach™, Teleclass Leader and the first Canadian to be certified as a Spiritual Divorce Coach.

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