There is no clear-cut path to follow that will solve an unhappy relationship. How parents resolve this dilemma will depend on the family and their circumstances and the insights gained from careful assessment and considerable thought. There is dignity in rehabilitating a marriage, and there can be dignity in divorce.
For some parents, divorce is unavoidable. For others, it is the last resort when all other options have been explored and exhausted. Neutral therapists can help.
Divorce and separation with children involve a series of changes that affect the entire family: living arrangements, parenting, social support, finances, and individual identities. The magnitude of change, all at once, constitutes a crisis.
Parents must tend to their children with sensitivity as they cope with feelings of instability and insecurity that often accompany divorce. Children may need individual counseling or treatment. Parents themselves may need to deal with guilt and grief over losing their hopes and dreams for the marriage and their family. Psychotherapists can help both children and their parents deal with emotions of anger, fear, shame, and sadness.
Although friends and family may suggest using attorneys and litigating in court, there are no laws that require you to involve attorneys at any point in getting divorced. Not even for the filing. So long as there is nothing legally preventing you from interacting with the other parent, cooperative divorce is a preferred option for many parents.
Neutral mediators advocate for both parents and your children. They can help you identify all the issues that need to be resolved to make a high-quality, customized agreement unique to your family's needs. The mediator will draft a memorandum of understanding which outlines your agreement. However, you have full control over the terms of your settlement.
If your situation is problematic and you want attorneys to represent each of you but still avoid litigation, cooperative divorce may be your best option. Cooperative attorneys make an agreement with you from the onset to use only cooperative techniques to negotiate divorce issues, rather than the combative methods used in an adversarial divorce.