The Three P’s of Divorce
Not every divorce experience is alike. You probably know people who had a miserable divorce and other people who had a relatively painless divorce. So what causes a divorce to go one way or the other?
A huge factor in your divorce experience is your mindset. You can choose to take a low-conflict, future-focused approach. Or you can choose to fight about everything and focus only on the past. While it helps if your spouse has a similar attitude, it is not necessary. Like many things in life, your divorce is mostly what you make of it.
At Porchlight, our attitude towards divorce is embodied in the three P’s: your divorce should be peaceful, positive, and productive.
Divorce is hard enough. Fighting with your spouse only makes it worse. Having a peaceful divorce doesn’t mean you have to like your spouse. But just because you don’t like each other doesn’t mean you can’t be civil to each other during the process. Taking an amicable approach makes the process much easier.
Staying peaceful during divorce isn’t always easy to do. Learn when you need to walk away from a conversation. Talk to your attorney about using a strategy that reduces conflict instead of increasing it. Taking a peaceful approach isn’t about letting your spouse of the hook. It’s about your happiness and wellbeing during the (often lengthy) divorce process.
You get to choose how you frame your divorce. Some people see divorce as an end. Other people view it as a beginning. If you think of your divorce as a new beginning, you are more likely to set yourself up for success and happiness after your divorce. Divorce is a great opportunity for self-reflection. Decide what you want to leave behind in your old life (besides your ex). Be intentional about what you want to add to your new life.
Being positive isn’t about faking happiness during your divorce. You’re allowed to be sad. You’re allowed to cry. Being positive is about how you want your divorce to impact your life going forward. You can view your marriage as a failure because it ended in divorce. Or you can view it as a growing experience that helped make you who you are today.
There is no winning in divorce. The goal is to find a way forward that both parties can live with. Focus on what you realistically need to move forward. Do you need a property division or alimony award that will let you go back to school? Do you need a custody schedule that fits with your work schedule? Do you need to resolve all the marital debt so you can start with a clean slate? Identifying what you really need will give you clarity in negotiations.
None of this means you can’t be angry or hurt. But you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Decide when it is productive to express those emotions and when it isn’t.
Clients who take the three P’s approach to divorce tend to be happier during and after the process. Their stress levels are lower, their cases are quicker, and their attorney’s fees cost less. Wherever you are in the divorce process, you can decide today to make it peaceful, positive, and productive.