Divorce is the 500-pound gorilla in the room

During my parent’s generation, divorce was absolutely taboo — very few dared get divorced, let alone talk about it.

Fast forward 50 years and divorce is still a taboo subject, of sorts. Oh, there are plenty of divorces to go round — the divorce rate holds steady at roughly 50 percent, yet we are still hesitant to talk openly and honestly about something that affects a great many of us, directly or indirectly.

Guess what? The divorce gorilla is there! Whether we talk about it or not, divorce continues to destroy families and drain society financially. The average divorce in the United States takes a year and cost thousands. And let’s not even begin to discuss what it does to our children.

So, why is this? Why is it that divorce is so expensive and destructive? My wife left me in 2009, ending our 24-year marriage.

At that point, we were forced to take on the gorilla. Unprepared and uninformed, the gorilla kicked our butts. But why you may ask? We had no idea how divorce worked. We each hired attorneys and battled it out. Many thousands of dollars later, we were divorced. Not only was a lot of money wasted, but our kids were affected as well. Looking back, I only wish we had been more informed about divorce going in — the process, the costs and its aftermath.

Don’t be fooled; divorce is big business.

Although divorce rates remain constant, over the years the cost of divorce has skyrocketed. For anyone thinking of divorce or moving forward with divorce, they are potentially in for a long, complicated and expensive process. And how prepared are they? Depending on an attorney to “tell you what to do and when to do it” is not a strategy. And delaying the inevitable almost never works out better in the end, either. Remember, choosing not to decide is still making a choice.

Personally, I would love to see all marriages saved, but clearly it’s not always possible. When I was married, I “did not get divorce.” My white picket fence life was perfect and the thought of divorce never entered my mind. Now, having been through a marriage and a divorce, I get each of them. As a society, we need to take the demon out of divorce.

For any individual, the divorce journey must begin with empowerment through understanding and education. It’s the only way someone can stay in control and consider all of their options, including saving their marriage.

The goal of this Divorce Matters column will be to serve as an aid to individuals in their divorce education. This column is not about the emotional aspects of divorce, there is a ton of information written on that.

Rather, this column will address the business of divorce. Should divorce be the only option, we want individuals to be better informed and able to effectively manage what is likely the biggest negotiation of their lives. As in life, misguided and uninformed decisions always cost money in a divorce.

Carlos Blanco founded Matters of Divorce <www.mattersof divorce.com> to provide answers, referrals and support to people considering divorce or who recently have been divorced. He may be contacted by calling 305-908-117 or sending email to <cblanco@mattersofdivorce. com>.

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