What is a Soul Centered Divorce?

by - January 25, 2014

What is a soul centered divorce? A soul centered divorce is one that is guided by your soul, beliefs, values, true self or inner wisdom.

It is a divorce process where every decision you make is based on whatever is true for you.

For example, if you are a minimalist and you value living over owning, every decision you make about the division of assets in a soul centered divorce will be based on your minimalist value.

In a soul centered divorce you remain faithful to your core beliefs and do not succumb to societal pressures. Everyone will have an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do in divorce, but their opinions don’t matter. Yours does.

What you want and/or need for you and your family guides your decision making process in a soul centered divorce.

In my personal and professional opinion, a soul centered divorce is one that reduces regrets and leads to a long-term satisfaction with the divorce process and outcome (provided all or most of your decisions and choices are grounded in and by your truths or values).

A soul centered divorce really is quite simple. But it isn’t always so easy to accomplish.

So which steps can you take to improve your chances of having a soul centered divorce?

You can use a 7 step process that I developed to help thousands of divorcing men and women remain soul centered in their simple, complex, friendly and/or contentious divorces.

It is a simple but powerful process that I developed over the last twenty years as a licensed attorney and mediator. It draws from my experiences with divorce (my own and my clients), meditation, relational energetics, and several branches of spirituality, all of which prove to be exceptionally valuable in the process of divorce. The soul centered process is a mirror of the decision making process I use whenever I am making important decisions in my personal and professional lives.

In short, you can have a soul centered divorce by taking these seven steps:

  1. Making any commitments necessary to remain soul centered in your divorce
  2. Getting grounded and taping into your inner wisdom or voice
  3. Identifying your core values
  4. Gathering the facts and information
  5. Brainstorming options
  6. Applying a core values test
  7. Making a decision and taking action

Here is an example of how you might use the 7-step soul centered divorce process to determine whether or not you should file a motion asking the court to order your husband to pay support.

Step One: Making the commitments

In light of the question and answer that may lead to court involvement, you might make these commitments:

  1. To act with integrity, optimism, and hope
  2. To be surrounded by trustworthy and supportive people
  3. To take consistent action, even when it makes me feel uncomfortable
  4. To make choices and take action that is aligned with my core values

Step Two: Getting grounded and tapping into your inner voice

The second step to making your soul centered divorce decision is getting grounded and tapping into your inner voice or innate intelligence – that part of you that implicitly knows what is best for you. Remember, the only choice that matters is the one that is right for you and tapping into your inner voice will provide you with a navigation system that guides you to the right choice or choices.

To tune into your inner voice I recommend practicing meditation, yoga, prayer or some other calming technique that works best for you. A soul centered divorce is nondenominational and can be used regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs – so feel free to explore any option that reduces your internal distractions and enables you to connect with your inner voice.

Practice your grounding technique for 10 – 30 minutes or for as long as necessary to become calm and centered before and during the 7-step process.

Step Three: Identifying your core values

The third step to making your soul centered divorce decision is identifying your core values. Core values are intrinsic to who you are and are used to structure your life. An example of three values you may have are: maintaining a lifelong friendship with your spouse, negotiating a settlement without going to court, and being financially secure.

For purposes of this demonstration lets assume that being financially secure is your top priority and core value.

Step Four: Gathering the facts and information

The fourth step to making a soul centered divorce decision is gathering relevant facts and information that paint a more complete picture of your circumstances, the applicable laws and procedures, and your spouse’s circumstances.

Here is a sample list of questions that, when answered, may uncover additional facts and information that help you make a soul centered divorce decision about whether or not to file a motion.

  1. Does your spouse actually have the income or assets to pay support? If so, is there sufficient evidence to prove it?
  2. If your spouse has the income or assets to pay support, what does the law in your state say about his/her obligation, if any, to pay it?
  3. In your lawyer’s opinion, what is the likelihood that the court will order your spouse to pay support and that you will be able to collect it?
  4. How much will it cost to file a motion asking for support?
  5. How will you pay your attorney if you file a motion for support and win or lose?
  6. How long will it take to receive support from your spouse if your attorney files a motion and the court grants your request?
  7. Other than losing the motion, are there any other risks associated with filing a motion (i.e. could you be ordered to pay your spouse’s attorney fees and costs if you lose)?
  8. Are you currently scheduled to participate in a court facilitated settlement conference? If so, could you address the issue there and then? When is the settlement conference scheduled?
  9. Are you currently scheduled for trial? If so, could you address the issue then and there? When is trial scheduled?
  10. Will your spouse participate in mediation in an attempt to amicably resolve the issue?
  11. If your spouse will agree to participate in mediation, how will the mediator be paid?
  12. In lieu of filing a motion, can you sell any assets during the pendency of your divorce to cover your financial needs? If so, do you need your spouse’s prior consent?
  13. Can you and your spouse agree to divide a joint marital or community property asset now, instead of waiting until your divorce is final?
  14. Can you trade with your spouse, a non-liquid asset for a liquid asset (i.e. a car for the funds on deposit in a bank account)?
  15. Can you borrow money from a friend, family member, bank or other source?
  16. Are you eligible to receive unemployment compensation, disability compensation or any other government benefits?
  17. Can you find a roommate or move?
  18. If you are unable to find a new job in your normal area of experience, are there other positions that you are qualified to hold?

Step Five: Brainstorming your options

The fifth step in a soul centered divorce is brainstorming any and all of your options. This is the time and place to look at your situation from every angle and come up with every imaginable solution, whether realistic or not. Here is a sample of some of the options that initially come to my mind.

  1. File a motion asking the court to order your spouse to pay support
  2. Ask your spouse to participate in mediation to resolve the issue
  3. Ask your spouse to divide a liquid joint, marital or community asset now
  4. If a court facilitated settlement conference or trial is immediately forthcoming, address the issue then and find interim support from someone other than your spouse
  5. File an unemployment, social security or disability claim with the state
  6. Make a claim with any credit card insurance providers to temporarily suspend payments and/or make any disability payments
  7. Ask your friends or family for assistance or a loan
  8. Borrow money from a third party lender (i.e. your bank)
  9. Sell an asset
  10. Use credit cards to cover interim expenses
  11. Find a roommate
  12. Downsize your home
  13. Take a job outside your area of expertise until you find another position

Step Six: Applying a core values test

The sixth step to making a soul centered divorce decision is applying a core values test to each of your options in order to determine which, if any, are realistic and might satisfy your need for financial security.

For example, if we assume that being financially secure is of utmost importance, we would ask “does option 1 listed above satisfy your need to be financially secure and if so, is it realistic?” We would go on to answer these questions using the relevant facts and information we gathered. We would discuss the costs associated with filing the motion, the likelihood of prevailing and being able to collect the support, the associated costs and risks, etc.

Once we determined how realistic option 1 is, we would rank it on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being very realistic and 5 being not realistic at all) and record it. If, based on the facts and information gathered we determined that it was very realistic that filing a motion would satisfy your need for financial security, we would give it a “1” ranking. We would also note that this means that your top core value could realistically be satisfied by option 1 above. If we believed it was somewhat realistic, we would give it a “3” ranking.

Once we applied a core values test to option 1, we would also apply it to options 2 through 13 and compare the results side by side in order to determine which of the options is most realistic and most likely to satisfy your need for financial security.

Step Seven: Making a decision and taking action

The seventh step to making a soul centered divorce decision is making a decision and taking action. In order to do this you would, once again, practice your grounding exercise to quiet your mind and tune into your inner voice.

Once you were calm and undisturbed you would look at the results of your core values test and ask yourself whether you feel comfortable committing to taking each of the actions identified on your options worksheet. You would consider what your gut was telling you and whether the option – action – decision, felt right. If the decision did not feel right, I suggest you make a note of it. Then ask yourself the same questions for each of the options you were considering.

At the end of the exercise, if you felt confident selecting one or more of the options you were considering, you would then be ready and able to make your soul centered divorce decision and take necessary action. If you still weren’t confident and could wait another day to decide, I would suggest that you put your problem aside for the rest of the day, do something relaxing, sleep on it, and in the early morning hours as you were just waking up, ask yourself which option or options feel right. Then, you would honor your choice and courageously move forward on your journey with the support of people who respect your ability to make the best choices for you.

Making soul centered divorce decisions takes time and commitment, but by doing the necessary work I feel confident you can make soul centered choices that are right for you!

This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or medical advice. You are always urged to contact an experienced family law attorney who is licensed to practice in your state.