Divorce with Dignity

Denise was a corporate executive who knew exactly what she wanted. She tried everything to work out things with her husband, Fred. They went to counseling, tried working things out at home. But to Denise, Fred only became more angry and belligerent, causing her to emotionally withdraw from their marriage.

A year or two before she finally made up her mind about divorce, Denise got very focused on her own wellbeing. She began to journal and meditate more. She started a new wellness lifestyle and lost weight. She literally took 20 years off her appearance and dropped 100 pounds of emotional baggage in the process. Meanwhile, Fred was stuck. He became a victim to his own emotional and physical challenges. This only sealed the deal for Denise.

She wanted out.

Denise was the primary breadwinner in the family, and she didn’t want to jus leave Fred high and dry. He had become so angry at times, so argumentative, Denise did not feel safe being the one to tell Fred that she wanted a divorce. So she contacted us.

We came up with a strategy for confronting Fred about Denise’s decision. Once Denise introduced us to Fred, we engaged him in a phone call where we discussed his reaction to Denise’s decision, and what he would want us to take into consideration for his side of making a clean break.

Fred never saw the divorce coming.

He was so caught up in the things that haunted him, he never noticed that in Denise’s eyes, the marriage died years ago. He was comfortable, and always expected her to simply stay for the sake of their vows. But to Denise, it was more than just staying for the sake of staying. She wanted to grow, to thrive. She wanted to find ways to overcome challenging times. But when it became clear that Fred rather stick his head in the sand than tackle their problems head on, Denise chose her own wellbeing instead of sinking with the ship.

Because there was a grief process involved for both of them, we carefully timed each phase of the negotiation process. We worked out temporary spousal support so that Fred would have the resources he needed to land on his feet. We finally had the agreement complete just days before the final court date. The divorce was granted with all of the terms they both agreed upon. Denise got the fresh start she was desperately looking for, and we preserved Fred’s dignity in the process…he never had to go to court to get everything he asked for.

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