How to Maintain Strong Bonds After Your MN Divorce and Rebuild your FamilyJul 13, 2023
Society seems to show us that divorce means separate from your ex, spend time away from your children, argue, and go to court multiple times…right? What if that isn’t how it has to be? This week on Doing Divorce Different, Suzanne Vickberg joined me on the podcast, and provided a completely different way of doing your MN divorce. It’s such a treat to hear how doing divorce different and creating her own vision and reality of their situation has been beneficial for everyone involved.
Suzanne, her ex-husband, his wife, and their two children have created a home where they all live together under one roof so no one has to miss out on any moments with their children. They divorced thirteen years ago, and still continue to live together, although Suzanne does have her own apartment in their home now allowing for a little more space. She has since written Divorce by Design to help other families see the many options available to them during divorce.
I asked Suzanne how she came to this idea thirteen years ago and how her ex reacted to it. She said neither of them wanted to give up the house, be away from the kids, or all the memories they had together in their home. This led her to present the idea of nothing changing about their life except them getting divorced. What if they didn’t shake everything up and allowed themselves to continue with most of their life as it was. Her ex was willing to see how it could work, which has led to success thirteen years later and him being re-married. Granted this will not work for everyone, their issues stemmed from their romantic life not working, but they could still be friends. If a relationship has other toxic aspects then this may not be a suitable situation for you.
When facing the thought and decisions of divorce, Suzanne recommended that people create a divorce vision. Write down the best case scenario for you. Even if others think it's a crazy idea, even if you “know” it couldn’t work, write it all down. Use this vision as your north star. Likely there will be some things that don’t become a reality, but it sets the intention behind the direction you want to go, and helps look outside the box. Maybe for your family it’s that you spend the holidays and birthdays together, maybe it’s that your co-parenting plan is very flexible and the children can bounce between houses as often as they’d like. It could also look like keeping the family home, renting an apartment or purchasing a second home, and the adults are the ones to go back and forth. The options are endless.
Learn more by picking up Suzanne’s book Divorce By Design or checking out her website. I can’t wait to implement some of these practices with my mediation clients, so if you are in the Minnesota area, please reach out. I'd love to work together with your family to determine the best divorce situation for you.
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