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Frie, Arndt & Danborn Blog

To be, or not to be…Divorced

by Jim Arndt

All the attorneys at Frie, Arndt and Danborn have practiced family law, or as a relative thinks it is more accurately described, “unfamily” law. It is a challenging area of practice, often requiring as much insight into the human psyche as into Colorado law.

This area of practice includes many topics, but almost all of them start with or at least touch on a divorce between two people who once loved each other profoundly, and frequently laid down with each other more than once to create a child. Somehow the magic of those moments bleeds out of their lives to such an extent that they can’t stand to be around each other anymore.

Sometimes the circumstances present in a relationship would compel anyone to get divorced. Women and men are victimized by perpetrators of domestic violence, or see their family, finances and feelings ruined by addiction to substances or unhealthy activities. More often, the things that lead people to divorce one another are harder to explain, even for them.

As a person who has practiced this type of law for more than 30 years, and experienced divorce myself, I can offer these insights to you if you are contemplating divorce.Cartoon Couple angry at each other

Realize that divorce is always difficult and costly. Human beings are simply not built to adjust easily to having slept next to someone for a number of years and then sleep alone. And I don’t care if you do your divorce by yourself and save lots of money on attorneys fees, the costs, including opportunity costs, associated with separating assets and trying to establish two lives for the price of one can be overwhelming.

And life will bring enough sorrow and pain and regret to you without stirring that pot.

So think carefully, work on determining what it is you really feel and why, and move slowly.

Unless there is some compelling reason driving a divorce, I suggest spending at least three years reflecting on your decision if you’ve been married for 10 years or more. If you’ve been married less than 10 years, spend one third of the length of time that you have been married examining whether a divorce is in fact the answer to your problems. Make lists of the things you want to change about your partner (and of the things you imagine he or she wants you to change) that make your life less satisfying than you had hoped for. How important are the changes you seek? How impossible are the changes he or she seeks?

Talk with friends, family members, therapists, and complete strangers. Think about it, for a long time. Feel about it, for a long time. Talk about it with your partner. Study things, and make sure you understand how a divorce will affect you economically, and affect your children.

Be mature, sensible, and thoughtful about how you make your decision. Do everything you can think of to try and make your existing relationship what you want it to be or wish it could be, including taking a hard look at yourself.
Getting a divorce is a decision that will inevitably make life more difficult, at least for a time. Make sure it is really what you want to or need to do. Go about reaching this decision in a way that you can be content with when you look back on it.

If you’ve done that and want to “unfamily” your family, we can help you try to do that in a way that preserves as much “good” as possible.