Divorce 4.0, Divorce for the 21st Century

December 28, 2016
Divorce for the 21st Century

Divorce 4.0, Divorce for the 21st Century

I hope you are as excited about our new offering of Divorce, Version 4.0 which offers a free upgrade from 3.0 last revised in 1952. While 3.0 was much better than the older version of leaving the folded up clothes outside of the teepee, the required resources to carry on a lifetime of avoiding each other were too burdensome.

Still, look how far we’ve come since Version 1.0, first launched by Henry the VIII. Most would agree that those beheadings and trials were costly and brutal.

In announcing his upcoming divorce a great guy I know asked what’s it mean when she said “ I don’t want to be divorced from you. I want to be divorced to you”?

Designer Divorce.  Increasingly people are finding that divorce doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. It was so much easier when less people we doing it, say in the1750’s or 1950’s. A divorce meant a lifelong estrangement. We weren’t going to talk, visit, go to the same places to eat, share family holidays and events. Nope, we were divorcing and that was the end of the relationship. Just talk through the lawyers and handle the custody and money issues by mail or notes.

Some people are still using that older version of divorce. There are times when that is a great idea. Not talking can reduce the toxic level of conflict that led to a divorce. I worked with one divorced couple where he was willing to be cordial and claimed he was over it. She, however, just had a hard time being in the same room with a guy who beat her with a rifle butt before leaving. That one is very clear. The old way makes sense and the post-divorce situation may never get better. Trauma like that is hard to put aside.

DFI Blog - Divorce for the 21st Century 2Others have begun structuring their divorce the way they want it. 4.0 a kind of Designer Divorce. Some of these folks continue to date and be sexual, just not exclusively. They help each other move and periodically to check in. They show up at kids’ school conferences and events together. I have seen levels of cordiality and closeness in divorced people that would stun previous generations. My favorite is when they both remarry and everyone gets along well enough to work together to benefit the shared children. I once had a family session with two parents, two step-parents and one child. It went marvelously as the adults acted as one team.

So what does it mean to be divorced to someone. In Version 4.0, you get to decide. How about a handy-dandy checklist like the one I have put in this article. Look at it and let me know your thoughts or suggestions for making it better. Write me at swlitt@gmail.com.

Checklist for a smart divorce

  1. Be polite and cordial, even if you don’t feel like it.
  2. Let the past go and focus on the future and the interests of the children
  3. Accept the new partners of your former spouse
  4. Never Talk badly of your former spouse
  5. Always take the High Road
  6. Forgive and move forward
  7. Accept that divorce is 49% your fault
  8. Speak in kind tones and avoid derision and sarcasm
  9. Be generous in spirit and actions
  10. Smile
  11. Take notes at that Parenting After Divorce Class

Let us know how you like 4.0. Our thousands of contributors and users are raving about it. We hope you love it as well.

Article by Steve Litt, LCSW