Covid 19 really changed things.
In some ways it added a lot to our lives. New skills learned. New Hobbies, or time to return to old hobbies that have fallen off of our radars. Our relationships with friends and family changed as we learned how to keep connected in a world with Covid restrictions. A lot of us spent more time with ourselves than we have in a really long time, which resulted in a great deal of reevaluation and reflection on our lives.
It also brought uncertainty. It may have brought or exacerbated financial stress because of job loss. It came with a need for us to learn to juggle homeschooling, working from home, and spending time with the same people all the time. Our mobility was restricted. And it brought fear.
For some this new world of Covid has put pressure on the cracks of their relationships. Unfortunately for some people this pressure was enough to reach a breaking point and so they are considering separation and/or divorce from their partner or spouse.
The “new normal” for some also included learning to live in the same house as your spouse, where either you or they have expressed the desire to separate.
Now that the restrictions are easing up you might be thinking about how to achieve this separation and/or divorce. For a full discussion of the options, please see my first Facebook Live video. To give a short version, usually there are 2 ways of doing it: coming to an agreement or going to court. You can come to an agreement between yourselves, with the help of a lawyer, or through an alternative dispute resolution, like Collaborative family law or mediation. Often we see court as the default, but I think choosing an alternative dispute resolution route can be the best decision that you make for you and your family.
If you have already learned to live in the same house as the person that you are separating from, you may be well on your way to laying the communication groundwork needed to come to an agreement. Collaboratively trained professionals can help you hone those skills, and also deal with the emotions and tensions that you are dealing with in light of the separation, possibly made worse by the current state of the world.
So, before making a decision about how you are going to separate, I have a number of questions that you should think about first:
- Do I want to foster and maintain positive communication with my spouse or partner?
- Do I want to have the best co-parenting relationship with my spouse or partner?
- Do I want to take personal responsibility to decide about mine and my children’s future?
- Do I want to save my children from the fallout of the traditional court process?
- Do I want to ensure that common friends and family are able to keep in contact with each of us?
- Do I want to reach an outcome that is specific to the needs of my family?
- Do I understand that conflict resolution is not only about getting what I want, but coming to an agreement where both mine and my spouse/partner’s goals are achieved?
- Will I commit to creative problem-solving rather than seeking revenge or vindication?
- Am I ready to find a solution, rather than point fingers?
If you have answered “yes” to these questions, you should consider Collaborative Family Law as a possible route for you. Get in touch with a collaboratively-trained professional to have a consultation to see if this is right for you.