How to Divorce with Dignity and Respect

Dignity and divorce

Television shows and movies often depict divorces as being highly contentious. Each party does his or her best to make the other one pay, both financially and emotionally. In real life, it does not have to be that way. Many couples are now doing their best to divorce with their own dignity intact and with respect for their ex-spouse. They work together so they can effectively co-parent in the future and perhaps have lasting relationships with both sides of the family.

Considerations for Divorce with Dignity and Respect    

One of the most important things each party needs to be aware of is the need to be transparent. Avoid surprises. Neither party should make any unilateral decisions about any aspect of the divorce, for example about finances, childcare, or any matter. Instead, have an open and honest conversation with your spouse about your needs related to those issues.  Invite your spouse to share their own thoughts about those issues as well. Once you each understand one another’s goals around an issue, you can brainstorm solutions together.

Even if both parties agree a divorce is in their best interest, ending a relationship involves feelings of loss and a grieving process.  In my experience, it is rare for both parties to go through the grieving process at the same pace.  For example, the spouse starting the divorce may have already completed the grieving process, while the other spouse is just beginning to go through it. Both spouses need to keep in mind that it is difficult to be fully present and respectful when going through the grieving process.Dignity and divorce

When this happens, my advice is to slow down. Respect one another’s pace. Imagine yourself five years down the road, looking back on your divorce and how you want to feel about the process.  Think about how you would like your children to tell their friends about their experience of their parents’ divorce. This exercise can help you stay focused on achieving a positive outcome and inform your decisions along the way.


How a Collaborative Divorce Assists Couples to Divorce with Dignity and Respect.

At the beginning of a Collaborative Divorce, the couple commits to first avoiding contentious litigation and to treat each other with respect.  The parties work together to build their Collaborative team, who will help them stay on track.  In addition to each spouse having their own Collaboratively trained attorney, there are neutral professionals that can also help with this, such as divorce coaches, child specialists, financial specialists, and mental health professionals.

At Bridges Collaborative Divorce Solutions, we are a group of independent family professionals who are all separately licensed or certified in various professions. We are lawyers, divorce coaches, and mental health specialists. Our group also includes child specialists and certified divorce financial advisers [CDFA]. We are all dedicated to helping you divorce with dignity and respect.


Joanna “Jo” Posey, Attorney at Law / Mediator
Posey Legal, PC
3115 NE Sandy Blvd., Ste 222
Portland, OR 97232

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