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  • Writer's pictureMegan Stodard

Collaborative Divorce: Let's put down the weapons. This is your family.

“You are a gladiator. Gladiators don't run, they fight, they slay dragons, they wipe off the blood, they stitch up their wounds, and they live to fight another day.”

-Olivia Pope, Scandal

Feels pretty hard-core and empowered right? All the love Olivia Pope (and I seriously do LOVE Olivia Pope!), but you know what else gladiators do? They willingly throw themselves into an arena risking their life to fight for fighting’s sake, to entertain, and for the possible glory of being the one who comes out alive.

Divorce can bring out the inner gladiator in spouses and attorneys. There may even be a roaring crowd of spectators (friends, family, co-workers) cheering on the carnage. Maybe this feels like a good thing. “Yeah, I want a gladiator as my attorney! Take what you can, give nothing back!" Only trouble is we’re focused on taking the opponent down. We’re ignoring the collateral damage that’s likely to result just from walking into the coliseum. Is anyone else alarmed by visions of two people who once professed their love in front of a similar crowd of spectators now entering a death match?

How did we get here? By believing we don’t have a choice. By believing the lie that this is the only way to get divorced or to facilitate a divorce. Our culture and expectations surrounding divorce have primed this knee jerk type of reaction. Hurt and fear breed anger and defensiveness that we wear as armor and wield as weapons. These things feel good in the face of fear and vulnerability. But armor and weapons aren’t the tools for this job. And the coliseum just might not be the right venue.

Yes, this is divorce but we don’t need to fight it out to the death. There are lives to live now and after. We want you and your family to find a new way to live well. This is easier when you’re not spending years trying to figure out what to do with left over weapons, armor and war wounds if you happen to come out of the coliseum alive. If showing up to a coliseum and slaying your spouse doesn’t seem like a reasonable strategy for making your life decisions, collaborative may be the method for you.

Let’s fight for what matters. This isn’t a coliseum. This is your family.

A collaborative law team is on your side and will be committed to guiding you through the legal, emotional, and financial decisions in a more peaceful way manner.


Dr. Stodard is a trained collaborative divorce facilitator. Click here for more information about collaborative divorce or contact Dr. Stodard directly.

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