San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Fairness…

I am always surprised when my clients are stuck on an issue because they are looking to make things “fair”. The first thing that pops into my mind is what my parents always told me growing up when I would say something is not fair…”well, life isn’t fair, better you realize that early on!”

My parents could not have been the only parents who said this to their children…yet I still hear it come out of adult mouths…why?

Not only is life not fair, but law suits in general are not fair and certainly, I do not think any formally married, now divorced individual would refer to their divorce as “fair.”  Amicable…maybe…at least that is what I strive for with my clients, but “fair” never.

How can it be fair for anyone? A family is being separated, that is step 1, very NOT fair – especially for the children. Next, each parent will live a lower standard of living because there is not enough money to maintain the standard of living previously enjoyed in TWO households (generally, it wasnt enough for one household!). Next, you will lose time with your kids, eventually another woman, or man will become part of your childrens’ lives…and your children may even grow to love that person… all of this is NOT FAIR! Nevertheless,  it is reality. It sucks, I wish I could tell you it is better, but its not.

I was reading an article (which I posted under the tweet tweet) titled “Divorce Realities no one ever tells you about.” She listed them and they are very very true…read these, understand that you will be no different, it will happen to you too.

So let me share with you some of the things that nobody tells you about life after divorce:

  1. It doesn’t matter how amicable your divorce is or if you were the one who initiated it, divorce flat-out sucks.
  2. You will never feel like a “normal” family again. Even if you re-marry and do a great job of blending your new family.
  3.  You will have so much less of a say in parenting your children. And that will frustrate you.
  4.  Friends and family members will forever take sides. Even if adultery and abuse were involved.
  5.  People, even those you meet years after your marriage has ended, will look at you differently.
  6.  At some point, you will want to have sex. There will be plenty of people willing to set you up. Let them.
  7.  Money will always be an issue between you and your ex-spouse. Even if you have a lot of it.
  8.  Your children will find out at some point who initiated the divorce. And they will not be happy with that parent.
  9.  You will have frequent differences with your ex. After all, there’s a reason you’re not still together.
  10.  When you wake up in the middle of the night, one of the first thoughts to run through your head will be, “Are my kids here tonight?”
  11.  No matter how broken your heart may be, you will want to date at some point. Don’t push yourself to get back out there too soon.
  12.  Do not, under any circumstances, bad-mouth your ex to your kids. Sometimes, it’s really hard not to, but it’ll come back to bite you in the butt.
  13.  Being divorced gets easier every single day.
  14.  You will miss some of your kids’ lives. And that is sad. You’ll do what you can to minimize this.
  15.  People will always want to know what went wrong the first time. Don’t be surprised if one of their theories questions your ex-husband’s sexuality.
  16. You will still share a life with your ex after the papers are signed. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a lifetime of shared experiences which will include graduations, birthdays, weddings, and even grandchildren.
  17.  Over time, you will tell your friends about the perks of divorce. The Thursday night date nights, the extended childless vacations, lazy weekend mornings. But deep down, you’ll always be saddened by being away from your children. Until they’re teenagers.

I guess the only good news I can give you, the silver lining if you will, is that no matter how bad your divorce is and no matter how unfair it seems…I have seen, heard and watched worse. And even though I get frustrated when people have no idea how bad it could really be.  When in comparison, they are “lucky” (if there is such a thing in a divorce), that they are not fighting against sexual abuse allegations, or the other parent hasn’t chose to relocate to the other coast, or several other terrible things that can and DO happen…I understand why that feeling of unfairness and despair is there. I sympathize with you and I empathize with you…and I truly care for you. If you will let me help you, I will. If you can let go of getting “even” and realize that the result will never be fair, I can help you. As depressing as it may seem to most human beings, I live, eat and sleep divorce and families. It truly consumes me, but not in a negative way, as you would think. I KNOW I can help people transition through this very sensitive time and I KNOW if they trust me, I can help bridge the gap between the life they have known and the new life they are entering. I am not here to take sides, and I don’t, but I am here to make sure you receive the legal information necessary to make informed decisions. There is ALWAYS one person in the room who does not like the information they hear, on at least one of the issues, but I did not invent the rules. I am merely here to make sure you have the information at your fingertips to enable you to navigate through this messy time. I have said it before, and I will say it again, divorce is not a legal problem, it is a personal (family) problem which the solutions will inevitably have legal ramifications. But if you spend your time and your money wisely, we can lessen the negative legal ramifications and increase the positive ones.