Ending Your Marriage in a Civil Manner
When the phrase "conscious uncoupling" is used in the context of ending a marriage, it speaks of challenging the traditional view of a divorce as a painful and traumatic experience and conceptualizes it instead as an opportunity to transition into a new and better situation. Instead of blaming and attempting to make your soon-to-be former-spouse the "bad guy," conscious uncoupling seeks to dissolve the marriage in a kind, civil, and collaborative manner without having to resort to costly litigation.
Dissolving Your Partnership
Many marriages are established by couples who believe that sharing day to day responsibilities is the best way to maintain balance in their relationship. While this model works well for some couples in the beginning, others discover that this kind of arrangement is not the best long-term option for their marriage. Working with a family therapist, or a couple's counselor, to address your issues should always be your first step. Most married couples do not enter into the institution of marriage lightly, and you should always do what you can to preserve your union. You never want to look back and wish you had done more to save your marriage. But if you have tried counseling and have concluded that your marriage that is no longer working, scheduling a consultation with a highly skilled and experienced family law attorney is your next step.
Common Reasons Couples Seek to Terminate Their Marriage
1. An Inequitable Distribution of Duties:
Creating an equitable distribution of ongoing tasks for each partner, which can include parenting, maintaining the household, and bringing in income, is an important component of any marriage. But when one partner takes on the lion's share of the family responsibilities, he or she may ultimately resent the inequitable distribution of duties. When this imbalance begins to negatively manifest itself in daily interactions, it is important to address the issue. When spouses collaborate and share the workload, their team effort can help them to avoid unnecessary resentment. But when partners determine that they cannot work together to share responsibilities and tasks, then they may have to consider alternative arrangements, i.e.: a separation or divorce.
2. Different Communication Styles
When spouses have different communication styles, they must make a concentrated effort to learn how to interact so they can avoid misunderstandings. For example: if one partner prefers to communicate in person, and the other partner chooses to communicate electronically, the differences in their communication styles may create confusion.
Research has estimated that between 60 to 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. In addition to the spoken word, effective communication also encompasses facial expression, eye contact, movement, and body position. Non-verbal communication can also express emotions and attitudes that may be in contravention to what is actually being said.
Based on these findings, it is important to at least begin interactions with face to face meetings. As the marriage evolves, and the spouses begin to know, understand, and trust each other, then communicating via email or text can develop into a more viable option. But as you embark on a new relationship, it is important to take the time to convene regularly in an in-person setting so you can communicate on all levels.
3. Different Levels of Commitment
When the marriage becomes unbalanced due to their differences regarding commitment, this kind of inequity can create resentments within the relationship.
A marriage can become unbalanced when one partner is:
· Spending more time running their household
· Handling the vast majority of the day to day tasks
· Compromising more than the other partner
· More focused on the marriage than the other partner
· Doing most of the parenting
· Bringing in most of the income
When the partners have different levels of commitment to the marriage, their interaction can become strained. While the sharing of responsibilities is always the ideal plan, it does not always work for some couples. What does work, however, is to communicate and agree upon a plan that will allow you to establish a balance and shared responsibilities.
Choosing to Restructure or Dissolve Your Marriage
Restructuring Your Marriage
All relationships have problems, but the best way to resolve them is to address the issues in a calm and loving manner and work through them as they arise. But when the challenges within the marriage become especially difficult, spouses may choose to address their issues by creating a new dynamic. Working together to resolve the issues can sometimes be accomplished by having one spouse take the reins in the marriage in order to exert more control over the daily responsibilities. A plan like this can allow the other spouse to relinquish some of their ongoing obligations and focus on other tasks to which they are better suited. The most important aspect of making these kinds of structural changes is that it requires both spouses to communicate about their challenges and work together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Dissolving Your Marriage
The process for dissolving a marriage is governed by state law and takes about three months from the date of filing the paperwork for dissolution. If you have finally reached the difficult decision to dissolve your marriage, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can discuss the following with you:
· Your shared assets and liabilities
· Your separate assets and liabilities
· The best interests of your minor children
· Spousal Maintenance (Alimony/Spousal Support)
Protecting Your Future
Restructuring or dissolving your marriage can be a complex process. But choosing to use the services of a highly skilled domestic relations lawyer can help you to better understand your rights and options and protect your future.
Call Elissa Bercovitz at the Bercovitz Law Firm
Elissa Bercovitz has experience with domestic relations matters related to the dissolution of marriage (divorce), legal separation, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (parenting time, custody, and child support), maintenance (spousal support/ alimony), paternity, step-parent adoption, relocation cases, the division of assets and debt, LGBTQ family law matters, post-decree modifications, and guardianship. Elissa also handles mediation for family law cases.
For a FREE consultation, call Elissa Bercovitz today at the Bercovitz Law Firm at