In emotionally charged situation, its not so much what you do, but how you do it.
Just ask LeBron James.
One of my colleagues is a Cleveland native. I never understood why the people in Cleveland hated James so much after he left. After all, he had created a lot of money and good will for Cleveland for years (about $300 million per year according to one estimate). Then I talked to my colleague. He explained that it wasn’t the fact that LeBron left. Rather it was how he left that caused the hard feelings. James’ timing, and the show he made of his signing with Miami kind of rubbed it in Cleveland’s face. Clevelanders feel that James hurt his old team as much as he could on the way out. At the very least, they feel that he was coldly disrespectful in his departure process.
As a result, James is a pariah in Cleveland, and even in Ohio at large. In case you didn’t know, James is a Cleveland native. But, now he can’t even go home without hearing it from local fans. He literally went from hometown hero to public enemy number one. And only recently has he acknowledged this mistake.
James could easily have preserved his name and reputation in Cleveland if he had handled things in a more effective manner.
What does this have to do with divorce?
I don’t know of a much more emotionally charged situation than divorce.
Like the James situation, divorcing couples are facing changes. However, divorcing couples are facing a much more personal and emotionally charged situation than the melodramatic James debacle.
The repercussions of a divorcing couples’ divorce process will have far more serious consequences for their children, families and financial lives than a sports story.
Therefore, the “how” of a divorce typically has a far greater impact than the actual decision to divorce. Couples can choose to resolve their differences in the co-parenting and financial aspects of a divorce without losing their dignity or the respect of their spouse. Or, they can choose to go about things in a deceitful, combative, and positional fashion.
Couples can choose to work together in a collaborative divorce or even mediation. Or, they can choose to go after each other in court.
Child specialists will tell you that the way a couple divorces typically has more impact on a child than the fact that the parents are divorced. Mental health experts will tell you that this is true for parents as well.
If you are considering a separation or divorce, then give some serious thought to how you handle that divorce.
After all, as LeBron James learned, it’s not necessarily what you do, but how you do it.
Randolph (Tré) Morgan III is an avid sports fan and an experienced family law and collaborative divorce attorney accepting cases in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Smithfield, Wake Forest, RTP, Durham, Chapel Hill, Holly Springs and surrounding areas. He focuses his practice in divorce, child custody, alimony, child support, equitable distribution, property division, paternity, guardianship and other family related matters.