“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
This is a quote from Confucius that often comes to mind when I am working with Alpha Center divorce mediation clients..
Many marriages suffer from a finely honed pattern of one spouse seeking revenge against the other spouse for slights, hurts and other transgressions. So, it’s no surprise that it dominates in during divorce negotiations. Although my 20+ years of experience tells me to expect it, I believe I serve my clients best when I guide them in a different direction.
The good professional guidance that marks Alpha Center’s 7-Step divorce mediation program offers a more balanced approach. It gives our clients the solid platform they need to make good life decisions and respond thoughtfully during a time when they are clearly under great distress.
It is normal for clients to bring their entire marital history to the table. The affairs, the financial battles, the emotional wounds. While I acknowledge their pain and anger, I remind them the past cannot be changed. And reliving it will not change the outcome. So, our efforts are best spent moving our clients toward their future. No matter what happened in the past, we believe that every person deserves a fresh start after divorce.
Our goal in mediation is to ensure that both spouses have the best future possible. During the separation of their assets and debts, called equitable distribution, we focus our efforts on ensuring that each it is balanced. It is necessary to include cash for emergencies, suitable housing arrangements and adequate retirement funds.
The budgets we help them construct are key to the quality and stability of life after divorce. We review them in detail to ensure completeness and accuracy. State guidelines determine the child support calculation. When we have the final numbers, then we can determine the need for alimony.
At the completion of their divorce mediation program, we want their lives to have the best quality possible for their financial circumstances.
Contrast this approach with clients who hire divorce litigation attorneys to seek their revenge against the other spouse. When the fires of revenge have free range, it often results in a major portion of their future financial security going to attorney fees. Many never learn this bitter lesson because they will not let go of past wrongs, but continue to seek revenge.
With good guidance on the neutral ground of mediation, common sense prevails. And remember that the best revenge is your living well not having your attorney live well.
In 1994, the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation was founded by Keila M. Gilbert, Esquire to guide divorcing couples through an integrated and interdisciplinary program to empower them to intelligently navigate their divorce transition and establish the best quality of life possible after divorce.
©2017 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation