Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Process: The Good Divorce | Saint Paul, MN

A Good Divorce is not an oxymoron.  It is a a very real possibility.

There are so many horror stories about ugly divorce processes that some people wonder if a “good divorce” is possible.  After working with over 100 couples who have a good divorce, I can personally attest that it is both possible and preferable to the other option.  Here are seven key elements demonstrated by those who have a good divorce.

1. No-fault divorce means no-punishment divorce.

It is nearly impossible to have a good divorce if one partner is set on punishing the other. Couples who have a good divorce have determined that they will NOT punish each other for the mistakes and pain of the past that led them to this point.

Those who have a good divorce have come to accept that:

  1. There is hope for a positive post-divorce future.
  2.  There is nothing to be gained by punishing their mate – and the children will be the ultimate losers if one tries.
  3. If a person truly wants to be free and healthy, one must avoid the revenge cycle and literally let go of the past.  Giving forgiveness sets the forgiver free.

 2. Recognize that each person needs appropriate space.

Trying to change, control, or micro-manage your partner didn’t work in the marriage – and it will certainly NOT work in the divorce.  Couples that have a good divorce are able to disengage and allow each other freedom to be and to do what they want.

 3. Acknowledge the reality of the Grief Process, and avoid getting stuck in one of the stages.

People who have a good divorce extend some grace to themselves and their mate when going through the inevitable stages of grief.  They also do the hard work and/or get the help needed to successfully move through the stages in order to experience more and more acceptance.

4. Everyone needs a healthy support system.

Positive healthy and helpful friends and relatives can be a godsend as one goes through major adjustments in life. Be selective in what voices you listen to because there is much bad advice spread by well-meaning people.  Look for wise counsel and seek out those who lead you to a better place emotionally. In addition, most people going through this kind of major life upheaval can greatly benefit from some psychological support or counseling.

5. Collaborate on making good decisions for the sake of the kids.

On planet earth, every life has been scratched and dented by the difficulties of life and the imperfect people around us.  Although kids are resilient and can manage the changes before them, the greatest gifts you can give them at this time are love, support, and a willingness to cooperate with their other parent to make good decisions for their future.

6. Manage emotions and utilize a businesslike communication demeanor.

It’s all too easy to fall into old traps and push each other’s buttons until the energy rises and people are “discussing” at an intense level.  The reality is that most people are capable of “checking your emotions at the door” when going to work.  We know what is expected and we put on a professional demeanor even though we may be dealing with frustration or anger inside. Couples who have a good divorce extend to each other the professional courtesy of managing their emotions and adopting a businesslike demeanor in communications.

7. Choose your divorce process with care.

If you want a good divorce, RUN from the old adversarial divorce litigation model. Now is simply not the time to dig foxholes and lob grenades at one another.  Now is the time for peacemaking.  Most of the couples I have seen that really have a good divorce have chosen to utilize either divorce mediation or the collaborative divorce process.  These two processes excel at helping people build bridges and solve problems.

For more information on ways to have a good divorce, contact Dorman Mediation and schedule a complimentary one-hour consultation.  We would be happy to answer all your questions.

My Christmas wish would be for every couple that is divorcing to find their way to having a good divorce.


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