This movie idea is more than a simile. It helps you to see your marriage at a healthy, objective distance. It allows for the time and perspective you need to help you prepare for divorce. It gives you the space and resources to recognize some powerful emotions which should be addressed before sitting down with a mediator or across from a judge. The urge “to just get this over as quickly as possible” can creep in but you need time and patience to achieve the best outcome.
Let’s look at two stories that show how different marital circumstances can affect the outcome.
After 11 years of marriage, Tracy, 36, decided to separate from Roberto, 35.
Originally city dwellers, Tracy and Roberto jointly purchased a home in a nearby suburb when their first of two kids (now six years old and eight years old) came along. They bought their house [at a relative bargain] with a low-interest mortgage. Tracy returned to work as a primary care physician after the kids were born and arranged to leave work by 4:30 every day for daycare pickup. Roberto, an adjunct professor, is working his way up to becoming a full-time professor by teaching extra classes around the city. Roberto loves their town’s biking trails while Tracy likes its schools. With both kids getting older, Tracy plans to focus more on her career with the goal of starting her own medical practice. The couple jointly earned about $300,000 last year with Tracy being the primary breadwinner.
Paula, 55, and Charles, 57, mutually decided to part ways after 29 years of marriage.
Paula attended two years of college before becoming a stay-at-home mom with their two children. The kids are now college graduates and living on their own. Charles worked hard to build up his insurance brokerage and plans to gradually sell the practice to his longest-serving agents. Their suburban five-bedroom home is fully paid off. Their lifestyle is comfortable, not extravagant, and their retirement savings are modest. Paula is facing what may be a decade or more of supporting her mother. Charles earns an annual salary of $300,000.
These stories resolved in markedly different ways despite their similarities in income, family size, and homeownership.