Sunday, July 15, 2018

Plan Your Divorce Like a Disney Vacation?

I love planning Disney vacations for my family.  Next to running, it is probably my favorite hobby.  I listen to Disney vacation planning podcasts.  I belong to a number of Disney Facebook groups.  I take my Disney planning seriously.  What the heck does this have to do with the Trenches?  Plenty, as it turns out.
Interesting thing about planning a Disney vacation is that even though it’s just one destination, there are hundreds of vacations to plan at Disney.  There are three levels of resorts to stay at:  deluxe, moderate and budget, and there are numerous resorts in each category.  There are signature restaurants, table service restaurants and quick service restaurants.  There are 4 theme parks and 2 water parks.  You can go to the parks early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, If you don’t want to go to the parks, you can  stay by the pool, go fishing, boating, horseback riding, play golf, play tennis, shop, go to the spa.  There are so many combinations, but it is all a Disney vacation.  Whether it’s your Disney vacation depends on what you and your family want to do.
Here in the Trenches, everybody is getting divorced.  That’s the same, no matter what.  Just like a Disney vacation, no two divorces are the same.  Some people work out their own divorce details between just the two of them. Some of those folks get legal advice and some don’t (I personally recommend ALWAYS getting advice before signing anything, and not because I’m a lawyer, but because once you sign it, it’s over and you can’t change it).  Some people need the help of a mediator, and use a lawyer for legal advice (see a theme here?).  Some people need their lawyers at the mediation with them.  Some people use a child therapist to help them with parenting issues and a financial professional to help them with financial issues.  Some people divorce using the collaborative process with a full team; some use the collaborative process with a partial team; some use the collaborative process with no team.  Some people resolve their divorce using their lawyers to negotiate; my goodness, there are so many ways to do that, meetings, letters, draft agreements, phone calls.  Then, there’s litigation and the entire court process.  Within each method, there are a ton of permutations.  Maybe there’s a formal sharing of information, and maybe it’s more informal.  How you get divorced depends on you and your spouse.  

Here’s the difference between getting a divorce and going to Disney, besides the obvious.  There are tons of resources that talk about how to plan a Disney vacation.  The podcasts and the Facebook pages have travel agents as well as regular folks trying to plan vacations.  There are pages for people who run Disney, who are Disney foodies, who are Disney novices, who are Disney addicts.  Everyone shares information of what worked for them, what didn’t work and why.  They talk about what they would do differently and what they would do the same.  There’s nothing like that for the divorce process.  Maybe there should be.  Too bad ethics rules probably preclude lawyer participation. Here in the Trenches.

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