More than one-third of marriages in Canada will end in divorce by the thirteenth year.
When we add to this figure the number of common law relationships that end in separation, the number of couples and families experiencing separation approaches 50%. While divorce ends a marriage it does not end a family.
The legal system addresses spousal and child support, custody and access, and division of property and other assets. However, separation and divorce is much more than a legal process; especially when children are involved. The separating couple may have individual concerns about how each will be affected by the separation/divorce. Can I live on my settlement? How will my relationship with my children change? People have unspoken desires and feelings about their separation/divorce. They may be seeking vindication, validation, justice, revenge, or simply want to be heard. Finally, there are deeper, broader themes relating to personal meaning. “My parents separated when I was four and I swore I’d never do that to my kids and here I am.” A person may have feelings of guilt or feel like a failure. A familiar sense of abandonment may be triggered by a partner leaving yet be entirely out of awareness. These unrecognized feeling may be experienced as depression, hopelessness, anger, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed and not good enough.
All of these factors impact separation/divorce and must be acknowledged and addressed or the separation and divorce process is at risk. These risks may include sabotage by one or both partners, the best interests of the children being overlooked, conflicts escalating, emotional difficulties impeding the process, important information not being disclosed, and the absence of safety and trust.
My goal is to lessen the impact of separation and divorce on you and your family and help you create a healthy post-separation family by:
- Helping you to stay focused on your goals and less subject to emotional derailment.
- Helping you identify emotionally laden issues that may trip you up.
- Teaching you strategies to avoid being derailed.
- Helping you to be a better communicator and negotiator.
- Assisting you in the creation of a co-parenting plan that works.
- Providing on-going support for you and your family.