Kate and her husband had been married for over twenty years at the time of their divorce. They had three young children and Kate was a working mum.
What I wish I’d known:
Although I have to take on more in life, and manage more on my own, since divorcing it feels easier than it was trying to lead a family in a partnership which wasn’t functioning. Divorcing has brought energy and focus to my life which was being tied up in a relationship which was not working.
Surprisingly, I am able to do the things, like managing the car and the finances, which I thought I wouldn’t be any good at…when I get stuck, people help and they are happy to.
The low point:
For me, the length of the process was painful at the time, I didn’t believe it was ever going to be completed. It was hardest just before the end. I could hardly wait after having been patient for so long. Now I am finally divorced from my former husband, I’m just glad I don’t have to tie all my finances to his.
In retrospect I am philosophical. I feel both that I wish it could have gone faster, but also, I recognise that I couldn’t go any faster. I was busy with three young children. A year on from the divorce, a six year process is just a life event with no difficult feelings associated. I was ready for it when it came in the end.
The certainty that I did the right thing:
I wish it wasn’t the right thing to divorce, but my family would definitely be homeless and broke if I hadn’t divorced. It was essential for our security. I also feel more confident and happier now.
What I would do differently:
There’s no doubt that I chose a non-confrontational process, including mediation, because it was a way to keep the relationship cordial between us as parents and with the children. We co-parent and we have a positive relationship. It might have been easier for me personally to have been more aggressive and imposed more deadlines on my partner. I’d probably have been left with more assets. Having said that, maybe my ex-husband and I wouldn’t have ended up with such a co-operative relationship if I had done that.