Most people want to do what they believe to be the right thing most of the time. If you can think about a time when you didn’t do the right thing, reflect on what was going on at that moment or point in your life. Chances are there was some overriding emotion or confusion or conflict that prevented you from thinking clearly and being your usual, good self.
Divorce is a time of tremendous emotional upheaval. Most people experience fear, loss, a sense of failure, insecurity, defensiveness, sadness and maybe even humiliation. To name a few. These emotions and feelings can easily highjack the moral grounding that you might normally possess. In traditional litigation lawyers are hired to “protect” you from your now evil, soon-to-be-ex. Doubt, fear and a lack of trust of that STBX are enhanced. Neither side trusts the other to do the right thing.
My colleagues who mostly litigate tell me that they see the worst of human nature in their clients every day; that they are working with people who are trying to avoid doing the right thing. In mediation, collaborative divorce and even many of my litigations I see people do the right thing every day. I had a litigation client who once said, “I hired you because I knew you wouldn’t try to destroy my wife”; and heard a wife say to a husband in a mediation, “I want to make sure that you can afford to pay the amount of child support you are offering.”
If and when you are going through a divorce you will need to consciously work at remembering who you are and being true to yourself and the ideals and values that you and your STBX once shared. The right kind of lawyer, mediator, coach, therapists and friends can help you have a divorce that you can remember with dignity.