Through Challenge Comes Success

Why Intentionality is Crucial for an Amicable Divorce 

Written by Tami Wollensak, CDLP™
I recently heard someone say that we, as humans, are only willing to endure small amounts of discomfort, but we all want to obtain huge amounts of success. I wish life worked that way. In my own journey, I’ve become more aware of the fact that if I’m being challenged in a big way, I can count on a windfall of positive energy coming soon. I can’t predict exactly when—or how—but I know it’s coming. My divorce was a very dark and trying time in my life, but through all the pain and darkness, I came out better on the other side. I learned so much about myself in a very short span of time.

I took that experience and the lessons I learned to create an impactful and important niche of my mortgage business that helps others who are going through the life transition of divorce. I was able to connect with industry professionals who I may not have sought out or met otherwise. I have also gained some incredible friendships through this leap of faith I took during these last two years as a mortgage professional.

I always say to my divorcing clients how sorry I am that we are meeting under these circumstances, but I advise that they surround themselves with resourceful people who will provide the tools and information they will need to make empowered, informed decisions. Just like I didn’t know at the beginning of my story, they have no idea what might be on the other side. They are likely to learn something about themselves that they didn’t even know was possible. I have found that life is a never-ending process of growing and learning about ourselves in profound ways. Through the darkness, there is light. Through the downswings, there are upswings. Our lives are not linear—which is good, because how boring would that be?

People are usually perplexed when I tell them I consider my children’s father a true friend of mine. I personally don’t prefer using the term “ex”. We are still in each other’s lives; we are still family. We both refer to each other as mother/father of our children. Our family just looks very different than most. I know that if I ever really needed something, he would be someone I could rely on whole-heartedly. That person I could call if I was broken down on the side of the road in the middle of the night . . . that would be him. We have children together, and that will always bond us. We want what is best for our children, and the only way to navigate that efficiently is to be able to communicate with each other effectively. The children do not want to be used as pawns, negotiating tools, or ping pong balls, and we do everything in our power to assure that isn’t the case. We do our best to not make them feel bad for inadvertently leaving something at one of our houses, and we encourage them to spend the time they need with each of us in their own way (especially now that they are both teenagers).

Please let it be known . . . I am not sharing this just to pat myself on the back. This only happened because we had a very amicable divorce. When the marriage started heading in that direction, I wasn’t in the right headspace to feel like it would ever be the kind of relationship we have today. It took a lot of conversation, patience, and letting go of pride and stubbornness. We both had to work to get to where we are today.

If you are laughing at the rarity of an amicable divorce, I understand. It might take time to get yourself there mentally and emotionally. Or maybe it’s the spouse who is resisting. Once you have two willing participants, it can happen. It takes intentionality. When we finally we landed in this place together, we gathered all the information and divided everything in a very fair manner. We decided what we could both live with. This doesn’t always mean it will be a 50/50 split. If you allow emotions to take over during this process and trying your hardest to “win”, I promise you that you’ll be disappointed. There is no winning in a divorce. However, it should happen before signing on the dotted line. I’ve said this so many times, and I will continue to say it: Don’t rush the process just to get it over with.

Do yourself a favor. Surround yourself with professionals who can guide you through unfamiliar territory. Find a good family law attorney who will not only protect you, but also work in collaboration with the other side. If you can mediate or collaborate, instead of allowing strangers (i.e., the court system) to make decisions for you, you’ll have a much brighter future. Most importantly, the healing process can begin much sooner.

This worked well for my family—but it wasn’t until after I understood that a nasty, knock-down, drag-out fight was not going to benefit any of us, including the children. We were able to get through the process without too much financial burden, and we were both left with some respect for each other. Then we had something to build on.

I encourage you to try and do the same. At least start with allowing it as a possibility in your mind. You will eventually realize that it’s much better for your well-being and your life moving forward. If I can be a resource for you in anyway, please contact me directly. Remember, there is a better way. There can be a peaceful divide.
Tami Wollensak is a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) for Oak Leaf Community Mortgage, a division of Mutual Federal Bank. Licensed to work 46 states, Tami has a heavy focus in Divorce Mortgage Planning, and a holistic approach to the process of evaluating mortgage options in the context of the overall financial objectives as they relate to divorcing situations. Tami has worked in the mortgage industry for 25+ years. To learn more, visit www.tamiwollensak.com.

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