Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Civil Divorce

I feel bad when I see couples fighting in court and dragging all the dirty laundry. I also feel that it should be unnecessary to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in lawyers.  if at one time you two were a team, why can’t you together decide how to divide your assets? Where did the trust and love go? Maybe it wasn’t there to begin with? A civil divorce is so much better for all involved.

Couples who just split everything in the middle are better off and they should be able to decide who gets what when it comes to the nitty gritty without big disputes.  Conversely, child support and visitation should also be decided together.  Child support should be the amount the parent who has the child more often needs for his or her support.  Joint custody is the best, unless one parent is a toxic presence for a child.

Intelligent people who once loved each other should be able to use reason, compassion and friendship to split assets and objects in a fair way where both are happy. Negotiation and compromise are skills intelligent people have. Even though they say people get revengeful upon divorce, it is usually people who had a bad marriage to begin with who end up in bitter fights.  Acrimonious divorces make divorce lawyers rub their hands with pleasure…

Many divorced couples nowadays manage to have a civilized relationship with their exes. When there are children involved, it is best for everyone that the exes, with our without their new spouses/GFs/BFs get along. Divorce is hard enough on the children, and to see their parents hating each other is a huge burden for them. Somehow they feel that they too are a failure, a product of a relationship that became sour.

Although I recognize that in certain circumstances the cause of divorce provoked intense pain in one of the partners (such as infidelity and betrayal, think Christie Brinkley/Cook case), it is better to allow time, the very best medicine, to ruffle the feathers so parents can co-parent with understanding and politeness. Some rare divorced couples have a much lighter relationship separated than when they were married; somehow they just do better as friends than as a romantic relationship. That happens often when the cause of divorce was lack of passion and sexual interest.

For the children, seeing that their parent respects their other parent, it creates more stability in the midst of a normally chaotic situation where their lives have been desmantled.

Some families even manage to socialize with their exes and their new partners during holidays and important events in their childrens’ lives such as weddings and graduations.  I would say that that is the least negative way to be divorced when you have children. For families who achieve that, bravo. Your children will feel the impact of divorce less.

My observation has been that Americans deal with divorce better than Brazilians. Maybe because this country has dealt with divorce longer as well as having a higher divorce rates, or because our Brazilian culture is more emotional and family oriented and unfair to women (men have greater chance of rebuilding their lives after a certain age in Brazil). I have witnessed former couples who never speak to each other, hate each other and absolutely ignore their exes new partners.  I can’t imagine being 12 and having your mom hate your father or vice versa. It is so stressful for a child, teenager and even an adult.

Getting over whatever hurt you, moving on with your life, forgiving your ex, finding joy in other activities or people, giving yourself a chance to fall in love again, all these attitudes will make your life and your children’s life a lot better.

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July 10, 2008 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Relationships

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