What Are The Six Stations Of Divorce?
Dissolution of marriage is complicated because at least six processes happen simultaneously with varying intensities. These processes can be painful and puzzling as personal experiences, and society is not yet equipped to handle easily any of these six processes.
The lawyers at Rubinstein & Holz have more than 75 years of combined experience helping our clients deal with all of the emotions of divorce. If you are feeling any of the following six overlapping stations, we can help.
The Emotional Divorce
The natural and healthy “growing apart” of married couples is very different for couples going through divorce. As marriages mature, the partners grow in new directions, but also establish bonds of ever greater interdependence. With the emotional dissolution of marriage, spouses become mutually antagonistic.
One of the reasons dissolution of marriage feels so awful is that your spouse deselected you. The natural reaction to the loss of any meaningful relationship is grief. Managing the grief of the divorce can take months, if not years.
The Legal Divorce
We have given the courts the responsibility for formalizing the dissolution of a marriage. This does nothing but establish a single status and the right to remarry.
The Economic Divorce
At the time a household is broken up by the dissolution of marriage, the legal unity of the couple is dissolved. At this point, an economic settlement must be made. This separates the assets into two sets.
Many a party voluntarily give up their rights to property at the time they become ex-spouses. Others attempt to use the property settlement as revenge. It seems that irrational motives, such as revenge, the “buying” of freedom or self-denial, are more often in evidence than the facts of relative need that each spouse has.
The Co-Parental Divorce
The most enduring pain of dissolution of marriage is likely to center around the children. The court takes what action it considers to be in the best interest of the children. The rights of children as human beings override the parental rights. The court generally does not intervene in custody decisions unless the parties are unable to agree or unless the court becomes aware of facts that indicate that the parties’ determination may not be in the children’s best interests.
The co-parental dissolution of marriage creates lasting pain for many divorced persons, particularly if the ex-spouses differ greatly on what they want their children to become morally, spiritually, professionally and physically. The child may become the living embodiment of the differences in basic values. Each parent may believe that the other is bad for the children.
The Community Divorce
All divorced persons suffer because their community is altered. Your friends may hold a negative opinion of you after your divorce is finalized. In many cases, the change in community attitude is experienced as disapproval. Loneliness and anxiety often result from this abrupt change in accustomed living patterns.
Newly divorced persons have to find new communities, often communities of other divorced persons. This is a group ready to welcome them, to share the lore with them, to support them emotionally, to date and to love as soon as they are ready to love again. This is probably the aspect of dissolution of marriage that Americans handle best.
The Psychic Divorce
The psychic dissolution of marriage means the separation of self from the personality and influence of the ex-spouse. It involves becoming a whole, complete and autonomous individual again. It is to distance oneself from the memory of the loved portion that ultimately became disappointing, and from the hated portion that led to depression and lost self-esteem.
Achieving A Positive Resolution To Your Divorce Proceedings
A successful dissolution of marriage begins with the realization by two people that they do not have any constructive future together. That decision itself is a recognition of the emotional dissolution of marriage. It proceeds through the legal channels of the economic division of property and arrangement for alimony and support.
The successful dissolution of marriage involves determining ways in which children can be informed, educated in their new roles, provided for and loved. It involves finding a new community. Finally, it involves finding your own autonomy as a person and as a personality.