Divorce Has to Be About Compassion as Much as Law

Sep 03

Anyone who has gone through a divorce knows it is a legal mess. It can be expensive, complex, and frustrating for those who don’t know the law around how a union has to be divided. This is somewhat inevitable. After all, no one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced. That’s why the property, finances, and relationships end up so muddied by the time a divorce is required, making far more legal work for everyone involved.

One solution to this would be to try to instill a greater awareness of these boundaries to those considering marriage, but this is likely to be treated with the same derisiveness the prenuptial agreement receives. Many people mind concede the utility of the prenup but still consider it completely counter to the purpose and spirit of marriage.

If people won’t live conscientiously focused on keeping their lives separate enough to be easily sundered from their spouse, the only solution available is to try to instill a culture of compassion when a marriage breaks up. Some divorce lawyers are already showing this spirit, focusing on the emotional complexity of divorce and trying to ease that at the same time they fight for the best outcome for their client.

This will, of course, not be an easy spirit to institute. Every divorce is different (after all, Tolstoy said, “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”), but the pain and resentment that led to the divorce are there in every case. In most cases, there is a distinct lack of compassion required to meet the point where a divorce becomes an option one or both spouses will entertain.

For all that, divorce is rarely sudden and rarely done quickly. There is time for each party to step away, calm down, and try to approach the situation with as much compassion as they can muster. Ironically, this communal spirit would do a great deal to simplify divorces and move them along faster, so the two individuals involved can sooner start their lives again.

The question, then, is how to foster this feeling in those hurting and understandably desiring to strike out at each other. The answer may be found in a multi-level approach. Divorce lawyers can advise their clients that compromise moves things along faster, more stress can be put on seeking counseling as individuals during the divorce process, and more societal involvement can be done to normalize divorce and try to make it a process best muddled through and forgotten.

Hopefully, this effort will allow divorce to get less complicated on the legal side so that all parties can avoid extreme expense and further emotional harm. It would do everyone more good to make divorce easier for all sides. It may even encourage some who are still in bad marriages to pursue a divorce, once they feel more sure they can get it done quickly, more cheaply, and without as much harm to their overall property and finances.

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