Now that you and your spouse will likely be sharing time with your children equally, the overworking spouse will have to work less because he/she will not have the help from the other parent during their parenting time. The spouse that didn’t work because he or she couldn’t, or wouldn’t or reluctantly didn’t, will work. You will each be running a household on your own, that means, you will be working all day, picking up the kids, making dinner, doing homework and putting them to bed. Then, starting your mornings early to get them ready and off to school. Ask any single parent you know; there is NOT a harder job. Parenting is hard, being a SAHM or a SAHD is hard, but nothing is more difficult than trying to raise children, on your own. Clearly, the other parent is there, to help… but not typically on YOUR days. And it is a struggle, to do it all.
Clearly, I am in the business of helping people through the divorce process in an amicable way, so why am I telling you how tough it will be? I want to help families… that is the real work we do. If we see a glimmer of hope, we will try to go down that path to help the couple reconcile. We are not here to push something that is clearly over, but we are here as the last-ditch effort to make it work. We sometimes have people call us, or even start the process, and then they stop for a while, try and reconcile and we always encourage that.
We also let them know we are here for them…and if they want to come in and talk about what the divorce will look like, to help them make informed decisions, we are happy to do so. Some of the couples who try to reconcile make it and remain a couple. Others do not, and they come back to us to finish the process. But they come back a little more sure of the decisions they are making. And that’s what we can provide, an opportunity for you to think through the various scenarios and paths you can choose and then help you navigate that path in the least aggressive manner possible.
Just the fact that a couple can file for a divorce have a mediation session and then decide they want to work on the marriage, and they do so, for several months, reflects the nature of the mediation process. It is friendly, and it is safe. If you do wake up one morning not knowing if you are on the right path, do not be afraid to have the conversation. Having the conversation with your spouse, either alone or in our office, or wherever you choose, may be all that is needed to save your marriage. And if the marriage cannot be saved, then it is far more beneficial for all involved to have the conversation in a positive way, rather than go to war. Feel free to stop by on any Tuesday afternoon, between 11:30 am – 1:00 pm for our free drop-in clinic. Take the time to ask questions and determine what should be your next step. We may refer you to a therapist and encourage you to start there, we may offer marital mediation as an option, or maybe divorce is the answer, in which case, we will talk to you about how our process is different and how we can help your family at West Coast Family Mediation Center.
by: Jennifer Segura