by Bart Carey, Attorney/Mediator and Family Law Attorney
Law Office of Bart J. Carey, Mediation and Collaborative Family Law
Why do so many people behave so poorly when they separate and divorce? You know what I mean. As people choose to separate and divorce, as we get caught up in emotions and conflict, we say and do things that, in our everyday lives we’d never do or say.
Worse, this behavior is often condoned, counseled and/or supported by well-meaning family friends and even professionals. We fight for control or justification by speaking to and treating our children’s mother or father in ways we’d never condone under any other circumstance. We’d certainly never teach our children such behavior is acceptable, except they actually are learning from observing what we do.
This reality became personal for me when after a number of years as a litigator, I experienced my own divorce. I learned that divorce is not a legal process. It is a life experience.
As a life experience, I had to ask myself how I could square my own behavior with my values as a husband and father. Like many, I can’t say I was proud of everything I said and did.
A big part of the problem was the court process, which pitted parents against each other as adversaries in a win-lose fight while placing the decisions regarding their most precious treasures of their hearts in the hands of lawyers, judges and other professionals.
This experience launched me on a life and career changing journey: how to find, and offer my clients, a process that can be shaped to reflect their values:
- A process in which spouses are supported and encouraged to work together, not against each other, to plan the family’s future while protecting their respective rights.
- A process which allows the family to fashion a financial plan that provides for everyone’s needs yet still focuses upon the family’s goals and priorities.
- A process which helps spouses address and manage their fears and emotions while still being able to choose to behave the way we would teach our children to behave, with respect and dignity for each individual.
- A process that allows them to remain a family throughout and after the divorce process.
- A process that supports and teaches co-parenting tools so they can better raise their children after transitioning to two households.
- A process that supports parents to set a living example for their children of the values they have already worked hard to instill in them during the biggest crisis their family will likely ever face.
There is good news. Collaborative Divorce is that process. Review the information on this website for more information. The Collaborative Divorce process allows me to align my career with my personal values. You will find it a process which allows you to live up to your values.
Did I mention Collaborative Divorce can be easier on the pocketbook than a stressful, contentious litigated divorce, too?