Would you rather spend the rest of your life on a battlefield or in a garden? Too many people buy into the vision of divorce as a fight, where strategy rises to the level of damaging gamesmanship. The inevitable changes that divorce brings do not necessarily have to be destructive. Focus on what you can create, instead of what you might risk, lose or destroy. Families with complicated financial issues, like business ownership, complex estate or tax planning, multiple homes, and of course, any family with children, have enough at stake for it to make more sense to cultivate instead of abandoning your relationship with your spouse. The word “stake” refers directly to land and planning for upward growth. Think of your divorce as a garden. Stake your claim and plan for progress.
As any dedicated gardener will tell you, it’s hard work to get any results, let alone good results. The same applies to your divorce. You will not have complete control over the growth of your plantings or those which come along unexpectedly, like weeds or greenery that you just were not expecting to see sprouting. You will make tough choices about what goes where and what you might have to let go. Once in a while, you might have to uproot something that you thought was in a good spot. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, plants die.
The best results come with advance planning and careful selection of what you put into your divorce. In figuring out what your family needs for its long term happiness, prioritizing instant gratification or short term solutions might not be the best idea. It’s like planting annuals in a garden. They look nice for a short period of time, and glamorize a garden with showy flowers and give you a sense of self-satisfaction after you spend a day getting your hands into the dirt. By definition, though, they don’t last. It’s a little harder to plant trees, bushes and perennials but consider the long-term rewards. You may have to wait a while to see the results of planting perennial plants, trees and bushes, but your efforts will return in future years. Similarly, think ahead and look for financial and custody arrangements that help you flourish for years. You are going to have to get your hands dirty to get results and you might not like everything you find below the surface. Enlist the help of experts who can help you, like financial planners, tax advisors, therapists and coaches. Knowledge and collective experience are powerful. Take charge and dig in.
If you have questions about how to protect your family in the future, and see it grow in a way that you enjoy, call us at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich & Trigg, LLC.
Please follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaFamilyLaw. Photos via Flickr.