June 15, 2018

Uncontested Divorce: Should We do it Ourselves?

adult-apple-business-276549Have you ever wondered about how to do something that felt daunting but maybe not super complicated (baking a perfect soufflé, building a patio, learning to golf) and decided to follow the advice to “Just look on YouTube!”  So you find several videos on YouTube, select the one in your language, and set off to do this thing on your own.  How difficult could it be?

The Catch:  It’s generally harder than it looks on YouTube

Those demonstrations are done by people with lots of experience and expertise, who make it seem effortless.  And this will be the first time you’re doing this.  Perhaps all will go well,  but if it does not, your understandable reactions could include:  “Why didn’t anybody tell me soufflés need different baking times and temperatures at different altitudes!  How many times will I have to experiment to get this right?” “What am I supposed to do now?  I hit a big tree root while digging the patio foundation?” “Golf has a lot of moving parts!  I really do need lessons.”

Because we don’t know what we don’t know, getting the right kind of specialized or expert help at the beginning of a project can be very valuable, can save time and expense and will help prevent frustration and anxiety.

What Does this Have to do with Divorce?

When ending a marriage, many couples hope to minimize conflict, expense and time by choosing an uncontested divorce process.  These range from DIY divorces using down-loadable forms to hiring professionals who do alternative or out-of-court dispute resolution.  I am one of those professionals, a neutral child specialist who assists parents and children in a variety of ways during the transition from marriage to getting unmarried.  Though I can work with any process, I often work on Collaborative Practice teams offering respectful, out of court, problem solving support for the legal, financial, relationship and parenting issues that are part of a divorce.  Those of us doing this work know that there can be complications, unexpected issues, lots of moving parts, and pieces of information not necessarily available to the general public about how laws work.   We especially like to help families at the beginning, to set people up for success.

I know there are many couples who do not need or want professional services to have a respectful and equitable divorce, and I wish them all the best!  But if it becomes more complicated than it appeared on YouTube, please do not hesitate to call.

 

Deborah ClemmensenABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deborah Clemmensen
Licensed Psychologist

Deborah Clemmensen, M.Eq., Licensed Psychologist was a child and family clinician for many years before her discovery of Collaborative Team Practice in 2000 motivated the transformation of her professional role from therapist to Neutral Child Specialist. This work---hearing the voices of every family member during a divorce or break up, keeping children at the center and out of the middle, and assisting parents in the creation of developmentally responsive parenting plans---is both a passion and a privilege. Find out more about Deborah's work at www.deborahclemmensen.com

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