The words that follow are heartfelt and I hope you will receive them in the same spirit in which they are offered.
Divorce is not easy under any circumstances. It's a time of uncertainty, pain, confusion, instability, frustration, and extreme emotions. It's a time when we need to be heard, when we need to trust and be trusted, when we need strength and courage and more than ever, it's a time when we need an anchor to help stabilize our course.
You are embarking on one of the most challenging times of your life. It is not unusual for you to feel angry, injured, resentful, hurt, frightened, vulnerable, insecure and anxious. Those feelings, some or all, are yours and they belong to you regardless of how they may be disregarded or diminished. No one can legitimately take them away from you. However, what you do with them will skillfully define the road ahead as potentially destructive or surprisingly beneficial. The dissolution process, and how it is navigated, can do serious and lasting damage or it can actually begin the healing that you and your loved ones will need to rebuild a healthy future.
If you have children, this will be a trying and confusing experience for them also. They need you now more than ever. They need for you too make the heroic sacrifice to remember through your own heartache and confusion, that, what is about to take place in their own little world threatens the very fiber that sustains them. Your wisdom and sensitivity will never be more important to the choices you make at this juncture.
Where there are children, you and your spouse will always be in each other's lives on some level. What you bring to that connection can detract from or enhance the world in which your children either decline or flourish. It is no surprise that the common thread that resonates most with divorcing parties is the welfare, emotional stability, and overall well being of the children. Here is an opportunity to safeguard them from the emotional and financial damage that most often results from positional confrontation and a "go for the jugular" approach.
Also critical to most is the desire to avoid unnecessary time expenditures and/or escalating fees. You have all heard the war stories and the unbelievable costs associated with them. You have an opportunity to opt out of that war. However, the truth is that I can't promise you less injury, less effort and lower costs, because ultimately those choices lie with you and your spouse. The results not only depend on which process you choose, but on what each party respectively contributes in terms of commitment and responsibility. It is that quality of participation that will save you from the shortcomings of the mainstream combative divorce.
Whatever the process, it is hard work. Although court is a sometimes impossible arena for parties to avoid, I am now committed to imparting my knowledge and experience in furtherance of settling cases. I will be there to listen to your interests and support your needs in furtherance of resolution. Being well-informed will help you to recognize the best process for your situation.
Take advantage of the opportunity by allowing me to assist in answering your questions before you decide which path to follow. I will be happy to discuss and explore the options with you. Whether or not you retain my services I counsel you to study the differences of each process and to follow the path that feels right for the outcome you are seeking to achieve and the future you are willing to create.
Robert Frost wrote: "Two roads diverged in the woods — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." I wish you the wisdom and the strength to choose the road less traveled.
Rosemarie McElhaney, Esq.