I blog a lot about issues relating to divorce mediation and what couples can do to make the whole process more seamless and less stressful. Today’s blog is going to be a little different, as I am going to give some insight into why I believe the things I do about divorce mediation. Everything I will talk about in this blog relates to preserving your family legacy, and the long lasting impact that the decisions you make during your divorce can have for the rest of your life.
For some background: my grandparents on my father’s side got a divorce in the 1960’s. Back then, divorce was not only uncommon, it was also frowned upon. Because of their decision to get a divorce, my grandparents were viewed outsiders in their community. As a result, so were my father and his younger brother. Although the road was not easy, my grandparents did one thing very right. They actually went through a very early form of divorce mediation. Of course, the out-of-court settlement process was not as evolved as it is today, but my grandparents retained one attorney and sat him down to tell him how they wanted to divide their assets and how they wanted to parent their children (my father and uncle). So, why am I talking about this today?
Well, I just returned from my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful weekend and a beautiful ceremony. My whole family came together, which hasn’t happened in so long. What really stood out to me, though, was that my grandparents were both there. Not only were they there at the wedding, they are still friends. They sat together on the shuttle that transported us to the reception, shared in family photos, and had a great time catching up. My grandfather is now 87 years old, and my grandmother is 78. After all this time, because they chose to handle their divorce in a respectful way, they can still enjoy family functions together. The choices they made back in 1966 still impact their lives today.
My wedding, however, will be very different. My fiance and I are getting married this December. There has been a lot of planning and items on our checklists to take care of. This has been such a special time in my life, yet it has also been a little sad for me. When my own parents got a divorce, it was very contentious. It got so bad and at the end, I became estranged from my mother (for many reasons including the divorce). Getting married has made me face this in a totally different way. It has really brought the importance of handling conflict in a peacefully manner to light. Unlike my grandparents who are able to attend important events together, my own parents cannot share in these moments. Of course, this is personal information and I provide it here because I want to emphasize the impact of your decisions during your divorce process.
Even though the road ahead may seem hard or even impossible, know that the decisions you make will have a ripple effect. Your choices will make an impact on you, your own children, and possibly your grand children. Imagine if my cousin couldn’t have both of our grandparents at his wedding. The weekend would not have been as joyous, and certainly not as complete. Remember, you have the power to make good decisions now.