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The role of hope, expectation and ambition in divorce


The role of hope, expectation and ambition in divorce.

As divorce lawyers, we deal with people at a tough time in their life. I’m always on the lookout for advice that will help make a divorce better for all parties involved and whilst listening to an interesting piece on the radio the other day I starting thinking about the way that people approach their divorce and how their mindset can often have such a significant impact on the outcome.

In the programme I was listening to, guests were in conversation about their philosophy of everyday life and the difference between hope, expectation and ambition.

Expecting a good divorce doesn’t always work out

I realised that these different factors come into play regularly at times of family breakdown and the personal philosophy and approach of each party really does impact on their experience of divorce and often the outcome. For example, one party may have the expectation, or feel entitled, to a certain result. If they go in expecting a ‘good divorce’, where they communicate openly about arrangements for the children and home, and the other party has different expectations, it’s harder to reach agreement amicably. For all of us, if expectations aren’t met, we feel let down and upset. When they are met, we don’t necessarily get any sense of joy or achievement because it was all part of the ‘entitlement’.

Hopes for a good divorce can easily be dashed 

Relying on hope can be just as problematic. You want something to happen but you’re not necessarily doing anything to make sure it does. Using the example above, if you can move forward with a ‘good divorce’ and a stable relationship for your children you are happy. This is something you ‘hoped’ for. It is a gift, a bonus, not a guarantee, and something that you do not have control over.

Ambitions for a good divorce

Ambition is completely different. It is the desire to make the situation work in accordance with your goals. If you are ambitious, you set your goals high and work hard to achieve them, but understand that it’s ok if you don’t quite get there because you aren’t entitled to achieve these goals. If your ambitions for the future of your family match you are far more likely to achieve a good divorce and an amicable settlement.

Go beyond hope, expectation and ambition to get a good divorce

In the case of divorce, it’s probably best not to rely too much on hope alone for a good outcome. Instead, gather together relevant information about your circumstances and take expert advice so that you have realistic expectations about the outcome, when it comes to reaching a financial settlement or arrangements over the care of your children. Keep ambitions in check, especially if you and your ex have very different ambitions for the future of your family.

There’s bound to be a need for some form of compromise in reaching a fair financial settlement and making sure your children are well cared for and have a relationship with both parents. In divorce, compromise isn’t a bad thing, it’s what helps most couples achieve a good divorce, regardless of their hopes, expectations or ambitions.

Michelle Brammer
Divorce & Family Lawyer, Melbourne, Derbyshire

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