The Decisions About Your Future Can Be Yours to Make
Roughly half of American marriages end with divorce. You have heard stories about divorces and family law, and maybe even experienced one yourself as a child or adult. But have you asked yourself what you want the story of your divorce to be?
What would you like to tell your family, friends, and yourself about your separation and divorce? What is the story you’d like to share about how you approached this challenging time in life?
If you live in Washington State, and want to learn more about divorce mediation, contact Seattle divorce mediator Mark Weiss by filling out the form on this page.
The story about your divorce will not be just about the outcome; much of it will be about the journey.
“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” — John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President
Divorce is a life transition. It involves creating a blueprint for the next chapter in your life story. Divorce includes making financial decisions, including allocating property and debts, and ensuring that everyone can pay their expenses, including possibly spousal support as a tool. If you have children, you will need to decide how to raise and financially support them into adulthood. It also means redefining your relationships with your spouse or partner, your family, your children, your friends … and even with yourself. You are the only one who can decide how you will approach this transition, no matter how challenging.
The task in divorce is to plan for what comes next. At essence, planning is not a legal question. The planning is about practicalities: How will your family restructure? How will you create two financially-sound and sustainable households? If you have kids, how will you effectively co-parent and financially support your children?
More and more people are choosing a healthier alternative to old-style divorce. They choose to work with each other—instead of against each other. They make that commitment during the most difficult time in their lives. By planning and addressing the issues together, divorce becomes an experience where all make the best of the situation by finding mutually acceptable solutions. These people write their own divorce stories by deciding their own futures. They can tell the story that they can be proud of how they handled their divorce with integrity, and minimized harm to themselves, their former spouse, and their family.
Often, it takes the assistance of a skilled mediator to help facilitate these kinds of difficult conversations. A mediator can keep the discussion on track and provide education to give you the foundation for good decisions. A mediator can help you better navigate the emotional, financial, and parenting transitions in divorce. Quality mediators are not passive bystanders, but are active allies who help you understand the questions and weigh different options, while helping to maintain safety for all.
So ask yourself this: What is the story you want to be able to tell yourself, your children, and others about your divorce? Do you want to be able to share that you made wise and thoughtful decisions, consistent with your highest priorities and values? Do you want to be able to explain how your successfully handled a challenging time and made decisions to support a positive future? What is the story you wish to tell about your transition to the next chapter of your life? It’s yours to write.
Mediation — A Healthy Alternative to Old-Style Divorce
Mediation is a proven alternative to old-style divorce that can empower you and your spouse to yourselves write the next chapters of your lives. Instead of starting your divorce in the adversarial system, you start it with a neutral mediator and a commitment to work together towards solutions. When the focus is to build agreements together from the outset, you can focus on the real questions that need to be addressed and on the best solutions. You work from the very start to identify what uniquely needs to be addressed for you. Working in facilitated discussions with the help of your neutral mediator, you and your spouse can identify the issues to be addressed, and then jointly evaluate the available options.
When you can preserve (or even create) a working relationship with your children’s co-parent in your divorce, your children will do better. Children do much better when not exposed to parental acrimony. Mediation gives you the opportunity to build a healthier future for your children.
If you’re interested in authoring the next chapter in your story instead of turning it over to a ghost-writer, speak with your spouse or partner. Then, request a consultation by completing the form. After learning, make the choice that’s best for you.
If you live in the Seattle or King County area, and have questions about divorce mediation, contact Seattle divorce mediator Mark Weiss by completing the form on this page.