The Surprising Role of Hope in Divorce

Snowdrops through snow

In my years of working with divorcing spouses, I have come to understand that divorce is an act of hope. Although it can be tempting to view the end of a marriage cynically, the decision to divorce is ultimately about forging a new beginning. The choice to start one’s life anew implies a hopeful belief that life ahead can offer more satisfaction. It is an act of courage and aspiration worthy of admiration and support.

Woman deciding about how to navigate a difficult path

Of course, there are other emotions at play as well. Divorcing spouses may wrestle with fear, anger, anxiety and disappointment – just to name a few. And unless that feeling of hope is nurtured it can be easily subsumed by negative impulses. Bereft of hope and awash in skepticism, couples face a much more challenging road ahead. But strengthened by the hope of a brighter future, divorcing spouses are better equipped to make thoughtful decisions more likely to ensure their future happiness. And they may even get to look back on their divorce with the comforting knowledge that they behaved in ways that were consistent with their values.

Nobody believes divorce will be easy. Radical change never is. So we may as well embrace that the willingness to undertake that challenge reflects an underlying optimism. The practice of Collaborative Divorce not only honors that sense of hope, it seeks to employ its power. Hope serves to smooth the process and to direct the participants toward meaningful and lasting success.

One of the basic tenets of Collaborative Divorce is that we seek to attack the problems, not each other. Rather than forcing spouses and their attorneys to labor at cross purposes (with all the unpleasantness and inefficiency that implies – picture two people pushing a rock from opposite directions), the Collaborative model helps the parties and the professionals to work creatively to solve their problems together. By cooperatively pushing the “rock” in the same direction, the work is less frustrating and more productive.

Just as importantly, the experience of working together collaboratively begins to form a foundation for how the couple sees the possibility of their relationship going forward. Rather than enduring an experience of having to struggle against each other every step of the way, parties using the Collaborative model often get to experience the encouraging satisfaction of learning to work together toward a common purpose. Even relatively small successes achieved through collaboration can nurture hope in ways that enduring antagonistic struggles can thwart. Consider the enormity of that difference when viewed as the first step in the journey into a new stage of relationship with your spouse.

Within every divorcing spouse lives a seed of hope. If left untended, that seed can easily be trampled beneath fear and conflict. But if it is nurtured with the help of a well-trained team of collaborative professionals, it can blossom into a healthy and vibrant new beginning. Just think of the possibilities.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Testimonial Disclaimer

Every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Contact Disclaimer

Any information sent to by internet, e-mail, or through the website is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis. Transmission of information from this website or via email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorney, nor is it intended to do so. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Attorney Advertising Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Transmission of information from this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorney, nor is it intended to do so. This website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, settlements, or verdicts. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting solely on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a qualified attorney licensed in the recipient’s state. 

Some links within the Website may lead to other web-sites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. We include these links solely as a convenience to you, and the presence of such a link does not imply a responsibility for the linked site or an endorsement of the linked site, its operator, or its contents.

This web site may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

All attorneys depicted on this website are from the Law Offices of Ivan Alter, Esq., P.C. Any other persons depicted in a photo or video are actors or models and not clients of the firm.