It’s easy to advise that you should have amicable divorce, but what if the reason for your divorce is a betrayal like an infidelity? Divorcing after infidelity is different. You might not have had time to prepare. You may not even want to be in the same room as your spouse, and you may even feel hurt enough to want to hire an attorney and demand your due from your spouse. Ironically, these are the same reasons why you should work with your spouse to rebuild communication and move towards an amicable parting. Mediation can help you get there by empowering you to take control of your divorce. As a third party rather than an advocate for one party or arbiter, the mediator puts control back in the hands of the parties (rather than your spouse, your spouse’s attorney and a judge). It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you’ve had the rug pulled out from under you in your marriage, getting your spouse in a room and actively planning your next move gives you back control.
The DNA of Betrayal
Genetics entrepreneur and ex-wife of Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki suffered the crumbling of a powerful Silicon Valley marriage when her husband’s emotional crisis led to an affair with a beautiful young English-woman. Wojcicki’s own genetics test revealing at Brin’s risk of Parkinson’s may have precipitated a confrontation with mortality and an emotional crisis. Most couples don’t suffer from mid-life crises because of patented genetics tests, but we can look at Brin and Wojcick’s experience as the DNA of betrayal. The long-term support and protection one spouse provides another (Wojcicki giving Brin the tools to protect himself from genetic diseases) might cause one spouse to look to the future and their own mortality and question the commitment. Have spouses risen to the top in their career and are wondering what’s next? Is one spouse intoxicated by power and running away from their responsibilities to the family? Do some people ignore emotional issues because they are busy with high-powered jobs, which suddenly bubble up when there’s a lull in their career? Infidelity is often a bolt from the blue that seems to come from nowhere, however there are almost always underlying issues causing it. The advantage of divorce mediation is that it is also built to handle the emotional fallout of divorce, unlike litigation. At Boileau Conflict Solutions our mediators draw on psychoanalysis as well as other conflict resolution tools to uncover the roots of conflict and come up with a solution.
Why Anne Wojcicki chose to have an Amicable Divorce and Why You Can Too
Anne Wojcicki emphasized that an amicable divorce was something she had to choose, and she put it down to some of these reasons:
1. Children. This is the big reason why couples who have suffered betrayal choose to move beyond it. The rule is that you are co-parents for life, even if you’re not partners. If your partner is a good parent then the question of working with your spouse becomes “how”, not “why.” At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we help divorced partners to draft parenting plans that cover all lives and choices – even if partners have relocated and need help with international parenting plans. Children need stability and routine, and mediation helps co-parents to map out how this will look.
2. Career. If you are busy you don’t want conflict. Anne Wojcicki didn’t just have to recover from her divorce but from the FDA shutting down half her business. Being busy and having professional responsibilities can be a great reality check that shows you how much time conflict eats. Divorce mediation takes into account factors such as career and income, including speculative income when dividing assets, and how to divide parenting responsibilities. It is an efficient solution after an event like infidelity that is destructive to routine.
3. Publicity. Infidelity is the most publicity-friendly kind of marriage breakdown. If you go down the road of dragging your spouse through the mud, there’s no way some won’t stick to you (or to your kids). Divorce mediation is a completely confidential process that keeps your divorce out of the public eye.
4. Estate Planning Issues. If your spouse has been unfaithful and you are in conflict, there’s a good chance some of your marital assets might be transferred to the new partner. If you have kids that is a serious concern. Divorce mediation gets you on track to draft a fair agreement about dividing your assets, rather than one that’s influenced by badmouthing, conflict and self-interest.
5. Peace of Mind. “Life’s too short” may be a cliché but it exists for a reason. Anne Wojcicki was influenced by the attitude of her parents, who had emigrated from Europe to achieve better lives. The choice to keep evolving and choose a better future made historical sense. If you feel stuck in conflict with your ex-partner, mediation can actually help you move out of these cycles by identifying how your own self interest lies in choosing a better, more positive future.
At Boileau Conflict Solutions we believe divorce stress can be greatly reduced, even in the most trying circumstances. We are available 7 days a week at urgent notice in crisis situations. Our offices are in Boulder CO, Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and Beverly Hills, CA. We can also be reached via telephone, Facetime or Zoom, for a consultation or remote conflict resolution. We apply a variety of tools such as game theory, communication theory and psychoanalysis to tackle conflicts. We always consider the best interests of the child and tailor solutions to their development level. We are informed by our legal, psychoanalytical, mathematical and finance backgrounds in a careful, analytical and empathetic approach to divorce. Please get in touch to see how we can help.