There’s a definite give and take when you’re dealing with a divorce agreement. There are no two ways around it. We have to compromise and I’ve heard it said that the best divorce agreements are when neither party is happy because divorce lawyers conclude that means that it’s as fair as it’s going to get for both parties.
So how do you meet in the middle when you both want everything? How do you compromise when the legal document you’re negotiating is dissolving your marriage? Because that in itself, unless you already have another partner waiting in the wings, is emotionally draining. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but I’m sure that when most people declared their wedding vows, they weren’t ever thinking of this day. So how do you deal with it without losing your mind/heart/soul?
It helped me to try to see the big picture and to imagine us compromising in all areas. It was like being on a seesaw and trying to find a balance so that we were equal. It was putting the kids before ourselves and getting what we needed, instead of what we wanted in every area. It was not carving out the middle piece out of the pie and each insisting it was MINE! But instead taking from each side a little bit and meeting in the middle of the pie equally.
Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well, it’s not that easy as you may already know from your own divorce/separation experience. Heated discussions, debts, money used or hidden without someone else’s knowledge, all come into play, not to mention if there’s an inequality in salary which adds a complexity to the situation.
Throw in a bad attitude on the part of either spouse or both, a poor me – pity pot or an angry resentful spouse and more money gets thrown to the divorce lawyers in order to enter the fray and help you duke it out. Mind you, you are spending your money in order to make your point so it better be a good one. Because otherwise it’s just a waste of your good, hard-earned money to fight over something insignificant in the grand scheme of your divorce.
But I have seen people do this – fight over an innocuous point and wastefully spend money, time, effort and tears over something that feels significant at the time, important enough to fight about in the middle of the chaos, only to realize when it’s all said and done that they didn’t want/need it after it was all over. They simply had to make a point and they did. And it cost them.
If you and your STBX can work it out on your own fairly, then do it. When one person begins the fair distribution of all that your marriage entails, the other sometimes follows suit. Integrity means a lot throughout a divorce and taking the high road shows the example for the other to follow. Sometimes, your spouse doesn’t follow your lead in fairness and that’s when you can rely on your attorney and negotiate. But sometimes, that simple gesture of respect and kindness can go a long way in a divorce settlement.
What’s that old saying my mama used to say? Kindness begets kindness. It starts with you dear friend. Lead by example and meet in the middle when you can because we all want peace.