How to Focus on the Present and Look to the Future When the Past Keeps Coming Up in Your Divorce

“We loiter in winter when it is already spring.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Navigating a divorce is not easy, and I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. But I will tell you that where you choose to place your focus can have a real impact on your well-being during this difficult time.

Will you choose to focus on the past and resentment about how your spouse ‘did you wrong’? Or will you choose to focus on the future that you want to create for yourself?

It’s hard to focus on where you’re headed after your divorce if you’re always looking in the rearview mirror of your marriage. This is one of the main reasons why the process you choose for your divorce matters so much.

Litigation is a process that focuses on the past. The judge wants to know:

  • Who did what to whom?
  • How involved was each parent with the children?
  • How was the money spent or saved?

The collaborative process and mediation are future-focused:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want your life to look like?
  • How can you and your spouse take on new roles concerning your children and your work that wasn’t possible when you were married?

How to Choose a Divorce Process for Your Future

Step 1. Consider the options. 

Different divorce processes work in different ways and have different timelines, costs, stressors, and outcomes when your divorce is finalized. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to choose a litigated divorce, a collaborative divorce, or divorce mediation. Educate yourself about the different processes. Talk to others who seem to have moved through their divorce with relative ease. What process did they use? Read books and articles. Interview attorneys and other divorce professionals.

Step 2. Ask Questions. 

Choosing the best type of divorce process for the future you want will require you to ask yourself questions such as: What are my financial and time priorities? What do I want my children to experience as their parents end their marriage? What type of relationship do I want with my spouse when this is all over? If you don’t already know the answers to these questions, a qualified divorce coach can help you get clarity.

Step 3. Find the Right Lawyer.

After you choose the type of divorce process that makes sense for you and your family, you need to choose divorce lawyers who are trained and skilled in that type of divorce. For example, only an attorney who has specific training in collaborative law can represent you in that process; and a divorce attorney who primarily litigates may not be the best choice if you want guidance and counsel as you engage in mediation.

For more information about choosing the process that will provide the best future outcome for you and your family, contact the New York divorce lawyer team at Vacca Family Law Group.