I came across this Huffington Post article recently called When It’s Time to Stop Being Nice to Your Ex. It discusses the underlying causes of why exes sometimes aren’t capable of being nice to each other after divorce – especially when children are involved.
Although I 100% agree with this article (you can’t co-parent with someone who doesn’t want to co-parent with you!) it amazes me how awful former spouses can be to each other. This is someone you built a life with, shared your hopes and dreams with, [possibly] had children with – and now you’re trying to squeeze every last cent out of him/her? You let your wife be the provider for 20 years, working super hard to support your family, and yet you think it’s ok to hide an inheritance from him and claim that it’s not marital property? It’s just … rude. Sure the law says it’s your separate property, but is it fair?
My job security essentially depends on the fact that people will get divorced and they won’t be able to divorce cooperatively. Lawyers exist because people can’t resolve disputes on their own, and I get that. I love solving people’s problems, and I really love helping people find ways to get through what I call “the totally shit time.”
Divorce sucks at its best, and is almost unbearable at its worst.
At its best, the partners look at each other and make a conscious commitment to say “This is a horrible process. Maybe we could try to get through this by maintaining the respect we once had for each other?” At its worst, we end up in separate rooms using a mediator as a go between to negotiate an extra $100 a month in maintenance, just because we can. Or worse yet, we end up in court and ask the least informed person in the room to unilaterally decide the fate of a couple of strangers and their kids.
I know it’s not how the majority of divorces are handled, and if everyone were able to work together then they certainly wouldn’t be in my office, and hell they might not even be divorcing at all. But we’re all human, and I wish we could treat each other as such.