What Is A Good Divorce?

by betsyross on March 6, 2011

Typically, a good divorce is defined as one that has produced a good divorce agreement (technically a ‘separation agreement’). That is, one that seems fair and acceptable to each soon to be ex-spouse. It contains a plan to divide the couple’s belongings and other assets and also distributes their debt. Some agreements include alimony to be paid by a one spouse to the other for a period of time or while certain conditions are met (often until one spouse remarries). Where there are children involved, the agreement includes an amount to be paid for child support and a parenting plan which outlines the details of where each child will stay and when, what happens on holidays and birthdays and who is responsible for what.

In these areas, mediators, attorneys and clients focus their attention on the law, on the facts and figures of the family’s resources, on proposed conditions and potential scenarios, and on the language used to convey these. While viewing these components provides a snapshot of what the negotiations have produced, aren’t there other factors that affect whether or not a divorce will be a ‘good’ one? Quality of life issues can be examined and questions can be asked to more fully understand the outcomes a divorce agreement might produce and determine how well each spouse (and child) will likely fare after the divorce. Divorce professionals with a mental health background (mediators who are also therapists/counselors and divorce coaches) are particularly well-suited to consider the more subtle aspects of possible outcomes of the agreement, such as:

Good Cop/Bad Cop Co-Parents
Might the agreement produce a situation where one parent becomes viewed as the ‘good cop’ or ‘fun’ parent , while the other becomes the ‘bad cop co-parent’? What can be done to prevent this scenario?

Who Gets The Xbox?
Will one parent likely wind up scrimping and saving while the other relaxes with the kids while playing the new Xbox based on how the assets and debt have been allocated? Is there a way to work with these while better considering how it will effect quality of life for both co-parents?

Unhappily Ever After?
Is one ex- spouse more likely to have a stressful and unmanageable existence after the divorce? Can this possibly be avoided?

This blog will include a series of posts over the next few weeks focused on a variety of topics that can contribute to a Good Divorce and a happier and healthier life for the whole family rather than a Not So Good Divorce. Be sure to visit us regularly and learn more.

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