Exploring the 7-Steps that lead to divorce or separation closure
By Heidi Nabert
Today, we're introducing Divorce 101: 7-Steps to Divorce Healing – one of our many Divorce-Management Systems. Now many fathers ask us if this program can help them if they were never married. The answer is YES! If you have either lived together or just had a relationship in which a child was born – then this information is just as relevant and helpful.
What is Closure and why is it Important?
“Closure” Definition – “a resolution or conclusion to a work or process”
Resolution or a conclusion is so important when it comes to families who are going through separation or divorce, yet often times, parents will continue the fight that caused the initial family break up for years. The ongoing fight between the parents can be very damaging for everyone involved, but most especially for the children of the family.
Resolution or a conclusion also enables everyone in the family to start the healing process that is so important when going through a divorce or separation. Even if you were never married but were in a relationship that led to creating a family with a child or children, then this is just as important and relevant.
In this article we’ll review the 7-Steps to divorce or separation healing. In the next seven articles we’ll explore each of these 7-Steps individually in more detail. Remember, these are the fundamentals of your divorce or separation management plan, and they will help you understand how to better manage your day-to-day decisions as well as how to position yourself for the future. Remember to focus on your goals and stay positive about the situation – your children are relying on both mom and dad for help and guidance during this difficult time.
STEP #1 – Invigoration
Divorce or separation equals the death of your family (as you have known it to be) and also brings about 4 stages: 1. Denial; 2. Anger; 3. Grieving and 4. Acceptance. Vigorous physical activity helps you lower your stress level that will be associated with stages 1 to 3 and also supports your problem-solving abilities – which can lead you to the final stage: Acceptance.
STEP #2 – Communication
Learn to apply the following 4 skills: 1. Regulation of self-talk; 2. Reframe how you describe a situation to yourself and others;
3. Persuasion and 4. Influence. These skills enable you to properly comprehend and articulate the problems which can lead you to discover many creative solutions – many of which you would not normally consider if you were not using all 4 skills.
STEP #3 – Education
Before you begin the education process, you need to include one most important step for closure, namely, belief – Belief that solutions exist. Education combined with belief will lead you to find the help and information that can create the right solutions for you and your family. Education is so much easier to attain today because we live in an information age. There are so many ways to learn: Books; Audio CDs; Podcasts; Professionals; Support Groups (both online and off-line); Self-Help Resources; Online Webcasts; Articles, and much more. These educational tools will help provide you with ideas. Remember, without ideas, the process grinds to a halt.
STEP #4 – Negotiation
Negotiating skills are at best limited to 1 or 2 negotiating strategies. This is the time to study, learn and apply some new skills required to negotiate. Increasing your negotiating options enables you to create more win/win solutions. We’ll explore some of the best ways to learn these techniques and where to locate the information.
STEP #5 – Mediation
Mediators are trained in conflict resolution – they can help when the lines of communication break down. This type of strategy is like extending an "olive branch of peace" to your former partner. Most divorced dads give up the idea of using mediation, especially when Mom refuses to participate. You must have a better game plan: As an alternative, you should attend mediation sessions by yourself, to improve and learn new communication skills from a mediator. When mediation is used in this manner it is a "cornering" strategy designed to demonstrate which parent is focused on making things better by example.
STEP #6 – Enrichment
Parent Enrichment benefits a child. Consulting with a child psychologist can assist with parent enrichment and the development of a parenting plan. This will heal your child from the impact of the divorce – especially when you begin to understand, appreciate and learn how you can best meet your child's developmental needs. Most children blame themselves for the separation or divorce. It is paramount that you repeat over and over again that the divorce is not the child’s fault and that mommy and daddy love the child very much, it’s just that mom and dad don’t love each other.
STEP #7 – Litigation
Litigation should be your absolute last resort. If you have taken the time to methodically work through the first 6 steps properly, you have by virtue of your actions established that you have the skills and the willingness to compromise with win/win solutions that are child focused. Sometimes litigation can be the most effective step, but you MUST not simply skip over the other steps. By objectively working your way through the previous steps that seem most appropriate, you will enhance the prospect of reaching the most important goal namely finding peaceful solutions for the family.
REMEMBER Winning = Peace For Your Child
Download our free E-Book called: Divorce 101: How to Protect Your Children from the Divorce Industry, e-Book written by Danny Guspie, Executive Director, Fathers Resources International
Download our free E-Book here: http://www.divorceddadminute.com
Divorce 101: 7-Steps to Divorce Healing is a 9-Part Series
Part 1 (above) is the overview, the next 7 articles we will explore each of the 7-Steps in much more depth and Part 9 is a review and summary.
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Note: The information in this article does not constitute legal advice. If you are seeking legal advise, please consult with a Family Law Lawyer / Attorney in your jurisdiction.