Disarming the “D” Word!

November 5, 2013


by: Janie McQueen

“Kinder Divorce” Programs Gain Steam in Georgia, Pave Way To Less Costly, More Family Friendly Divorces. Few live their lives untouched by divorce.

We see the gloomy statistics. We attend lovely weddings with crossed fingers, knowing half will fail. And when someone close to us announces a split, we recoil, as if in fear it’s catching.

But the increasingly land-mined divorce scape is far more harsh—and expensive–than most suspect. A Forbes Woman article this week, reported the chief concern in today’s divorces—even above finding an attorney–is the price tag. Even survey respondents who reported child custody issues as their chief concern, ranked cost a close second.

Unprepared spouses, regardless of means, can face alarming fees upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 for an average divorce, according to Kelley Linn, whose Atlanta-based consumer advocacy organization, Transition Resource, LLC, offers practical help and divorce budgeting tools including a user-friendly workbook, that also helps structure long-term debt.

“Long, drawn-out divorce cases can be very costly on a family emotionally as well as financially,” Linn said. “A family who can move swiftly through the process, achieving a fair settlement and parenting plan, can minimize the conflict between divorcing parties and set the stage for a healthy co-parenting environment post-divorce.”

Lee W., a Georgia resident who participated in the Transitions Resource program, reported a fundamental difference between Transitions and other divorce programs is its hands-on guidance to navigate the tricky legal and financial waters of divorce. She cited the user-friendly workbook as her most valuable tool.

“The Transitions workbook is direly needed in a world where there are many self-help resources to manage the emotional pain of a divorce, but a lack of resources to assist with the divorce logistics,” she said.

Indeed, the financial and emotional components of divorce go hand in hand. “If you know the resources that can substantially lower the conflict, keep money in the pockets of the family, and wrap up legal proceedings in a timely fashion rather than drawing it out to grueling lengths, significantly impact the experience and quality of life of all involved,” Linn said. “It is not so scary, not so risky and emotionally tumultuous.”

A key component of Transitions Resource is educating those who find themselves dealing most closely with divorcing couples—not the attorneys, but the therapists. Transitions Resource has partnered with 26 professional licensed practitioners to date to bring Post-Divorce Support Groups to Georgia. A 12-hour continuing education certification course offers professional counselors and coaches tools and innovative approaches to help them best serve their divorcing clients.

The 14-session structure of the support groups helps participants recognize common emotions related to the change in family structure as they seek to rediscover the person they were before the divorce, Linn said. A faith-based module is offered as well.

KOT_New_Logo900Complementing programs like Linn’s are web-based organizations including Kids On Time, which helps parents become better organized and improve their relationships and communication with one another and their children.

“This helps create a healthier and happier environment for the entire family,” says Anne Sleeman, president of Kids On Time, Inc., which is based in Maine but available to anyone with access to the Web. A mobile app also is available.

Primary tools to manage this include a shared online family calendar, a parent-to-parent messenger, a money manager, and a wellness center. Like Transitions Resource, Kids On Time keeps the divorce focused on creative and beneficial outcomes, not a win-or-lose proposition many divorces have become.

Kids On Time’s rapid growth includes presence in the U.K. and a partnership with Easter Seals, which offers solutions to parents of children with disabilities.

“Essentially, you become a better, more informed and effective parent,” Sleeman explains. “Harmonious co-parenting makes for well-adjusted and resilient kids.”

The bottom line is openness, Linn agreed. “No one wants to talk about the D word. But the emotional wounds caused by a lengthy, high-conflict divorce case are very difficult to overcome, and will greatly hinder post-divorce relations with all family members including minor children. If you knew about resources that could substantially lower the spousal conflict through a divorce and save the family way upwards of $10,000 in unnecessary fees, wouldn’t you want to talk about it?”

About Unhooked Books
Unhooked Books is the one place for people to find the best and most current information and resources available on personality disorders, high-conflict personalities, divorce, parenting, co-parenting, living healthy, eating healthy, and managing your life. Founder & CEO, Megan Hunter, established one place for people in any type of relationship to find tools to enhance relationships, prevent relationship disaster and handle relationship transition. Her firm belief is that with just a little education, most people can resolve most relationship issues.

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