BEGIN NOW TO THINK OF DIVORCE AS A TEAM SPORT: Divorce usually begins with a break down in what was supposed to be the ultimate team- the family. So, it is easy to feel completely alone and outnumbered as we start the divorce process. It feels as if there is no one to talk to, or as if you can speak to any passing stranger. It is all sort of random and sad and confusing. I always think of the old Paul Simon lyric, “Loosing love is like a window in your heart/ everybody sees you’re blown apart/ everybody sees the wind blow.”
Thankfully, divorce does not need to be a solo activity; in fact – it should not be. Divorce is no more something you should do on your own than scale a mountain for the first time. Plan to assemble a team. And, this time, it is not just you and one partner, but you and a group of hand-picked people. So, if one player does fail you, they can be replaced without the entire structure crumbling.
Your team is comprised of relatives, friends, acquaintances, and professionals, each chosen for a specific task based upon well-reasoned criteria. When you assemble your team, you do not relinquish control of your life, your marriage, or your divorce, you become the general manager. It is your life, your marriage, and your divorce. You are the one who determines how it will run, to the greatest extent that you can.
WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE GAME?
There are specific rules and general rules. By specifics, I refer to the legal system, and how it works for dissolving the state sanctioned institution of marriage. How one begins a divorce, and where, and how long it takes, and what you are entitled to in your case.
For the specifics, each case is different. Once you master the general rules, you will have an easier time understanding, and applying, the specific rules.
If you were a football player, you would spend high school and college learning the general rules, such as what is a first down, what are illegal hands to the face, what is a two point conversion, and why do they use it earlier and earlier in the game as it gets later into the season and post season? Then, when you are drafted by your first NFL franchise, you start to learn that team’s (and that coach’s) specific rules, also known as your team playbook. There’s no point in me teaching you the wrong team’s playbook, when you still need to learn how to identify a blitz coming.
These are the first 5 general rules:
1. DIVORCE SUCKS!!
2. All spouses are monsters (including your spouse’s spouse).
3. It does not matter whose fault it is.
4. It is never too late.
5. If someone is in danger, get out now. Figure the rest out later.
THE DIVORCE TEAM:
TOP 2 RULES FOR ALL TEAM MEMBERS
1. Does not betray your trust by repeating any private information
2. Does remind you that this will end and you will be happier once it is over.
Cheerleader: (best friend)
Offense: (legal counsel)
Special Teams: (friends)
General Manager: (You)
What We Love: You are not in this alone. As soon as you assemble your team, you will begin to feel calmer and more prepared to handle your divorce.