May 1, 2013

Can an Unhappy Marriage End in a “Happy Divorce”?

A New LIfeI would not wish divorce on any married couple.   It is a painful process and results in permanent loss.  But I also do not like to see people suffer through unhappy marriages.   Naturally, the best solution is to seek to improve the marriage so that both husband and wife can be happy.  However, there are times when that is simply not possible.  And for those people, their best option may be a “Happy Divorce”.

I realize that “Happy Divorce” is a misnomer. No divorce is truly “Happy”.  However, in my thirty years of working with divorcing families, I have known many people who are much happier after the divorce than they were in the marriage.  I have also known hundreds of couples who treat each other with more respect after the divorce than they did during the marriage. The ability to get through a divorce in a respectful manner can be an achievement of immeasurable worth; particularly if there are children of the marriage.  No child wants to live in an unhappy home or, worse yet, two unhappy homes.

In our culture, we have come to expect that divorce will bring out the worst in people.   But I have also seen couples who, although they are facing  one of the most difficult times of their lives; have found a way to bring their best selves forward, often for the sake of their children.

Divorce is an end; but it is also a beginning.  Many couples even greet divorce as an opportunity to improve their life skills.   In some occasions, these couples, when faced with divorce, find ways to communicate more effectively; work to improve their parenting skills through a neutral parenting specialists; and even find ways to better their financial capacities through the help of a neutral financial expert.   While there are many ways to achieve these goals, one method that is rapidly growing in popularity is called Collaborative Divorce, where couples work with a team of professionals (lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts) to help them improve their lives after divorce in significant measurable ways.  To learn more about this option, go to  or

Ron Ousky
Attorney, Ousky Law Firm

Ron Ousky is a Collaborative Attorney and mediator who has worked with divorcing families for thirty years and focuses on helping his clients find better outcomes through Collaborative Practice, mediation and other creative alternatives. Ron is also the co-author of The Collaborative Way to Divorce, and has trained divorce lawyers throughout North America and in Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Collaborative Alliance, an office sharing suite in Edina, that brings lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts together to find better solutions for families. To learn more about Ron and his practice, go to

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