Divorce isn't easy and it's rarely as amicable, but you can have a better divorce experience by changing the way you look at the situation. To help you get started, these mindset shifts can help you get through the experience with grace and your self-respect intact.
By Christiana Zouzias, CPA, CVA
If you're looking to seek revenge or destroy your soon to be ex-spouse or ex-business partner, please stop reading. This is not for you.
On the other hand, if your desire is to "uncouple" with grace and dignity, then read on.
In my 15+ years assisting families and business owners disentangle their finances, I've learned a thing or two that might help you through this challenging time.
For better or for worse, the decision has been made to part ways. There will be hurt. There will be anger and resentment. Most importantly, there will be a breach of trust that will permanently change your relationship. There is no way to avoid this.
If you or your partner (whether professionally or personally) are at this crossroad, you have a decision to make. Who are you going to be during this process? Will it be someone you're proud of when you look back on this five years from now?
Allow me to pose some WHAT IF'S:
WHAT IF you changed your perspective?
WHAT IF you told yourself, "That person did the best he/she could, but it just wasn't right for us as a team?"
WHAT IF you made a conscious decision that, despite the other party's actions, you would stay in a "kind and compassionate" place and act accordingly?
WHAT IF you decided you were willing to approach this as a new beginning to a different relationship, rather than the end?
WHAT IF you put equal weight on your children's or employees' needs, rather than focusing on your hurt - and acted accordingly?
WHAT IF you chose to be truthful and honorable and patient?
I can answer those WHAT IF questions. I can answer them because I've experienced and witnessed the results of how my clients respond (consciously or unconsciously) to the realities of an uncoupling.
When working with mediation or collaborative clients, I consistently ask myself, "Does this client care about how the other party will fare once this separation is final?" The answer to this critical question will be the deciding factor on whether or not this case will be a success or a failure.
Will these individuals win? Does winning mean that one party wins and one party loses? I think not. My definition of "WIN" is as follows:
In my work with clients, the focus is on making sure that all parties come out of their uncoupling process with as much financial security as possible, and with as much wealth preservation as possible. And, most importantly, with a preservation of a relationship that honors the past and meets their future interests.
If you're in the process of or considering separating from your life or business partner, ask yourself some WHAT IF's. Then, consider using a Collaborative Team that will support you and help you navigate the challenges.
EVERYONE WINS with KINDNESS and COMPASSION.
Christiana Zouzias, CPA, CVA, is the President of Zouzias & Zouzias with offices in Chicago, Naperville and Skokie, Illinois. She is a Financial Mediation Professional and can be reached at 312-239-1450. Her website is www.zouzias.com. Christiana serves as a Board Member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, https://collablawil.org/
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