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Oak Tree Advisory Services, Inc.


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F-A-C-C-T: Understanding the truth about separation and divorce

Understanding what divorce is leads to a better life during and after separation

F-A-C-C-T®: Understanding Divorce Pamphlet

The first big error for couples not understanding what divorce really is. It is the enter of a martial contract, but it is not the end of a relationship.

Over our yeas of experience, we have found there are five simple truths that are part of each divorce.

F – Family Re-Formation
A – Awareness
C – Communication
C – Commitment
T – Trust

Family Re-Formation is the natural outcome of divorce. Your relationships with children, family members, extended family, common friends, work associates all change based on how you choose to handle your separation. On the other side of the marital split, that family unit will continue. That structure and level of peace in that new situation starts with how you handle the divorce itself.

Awareness is on three basic levels. First is an awareness of how divorce became your option for this relationship. At some point, you decided, “Anything is better that this!” But how did you come to that conclusion? With out understanding the “why” of this choice, it is like walking backwards. You are working so hard to get away from something that you may pay attention to you are moving towards.

Awareness also looks at each person’s part in the journey. Since you will be in some form of relationship moving forward, understanding the basic issues leads you to finding better options for cooperation.

The other part of Awareness are your assets, liabilities, and budgets. What do you own and owe? What is your income and expenses? Then working to see how this divided situation might allow you to both move forward.

It is important that both sides know what is happening in this area. If one person is not understanding the value if their assets and budgets, how can they ever know if they have a good deal or not.

Communication is not what people think. It is an ability to share information that is important, shared and factual. Emotion, judgement about behavior, person injury do not support your efforts when working through conflict. In our office we have a small shopping cart with a calculator in it. The idea is that if what you are discussing cannot be put into a cart or if you cannot do a math problem with it, that concern probably does not belong in the conversation. A respect divorce professional put is simply: Your conversation needs to be brief, informative, friendly and firm.

Commitment is often not considered a part of divorce. However, it is critical. Yes, you are breaking up. But you are doing this by breaking a contract – your marital contract. The process to do this is with a new agreement – your marital settlement agreement. That new contract has commitments you each need to adhere to.

Trust is the final part. As the commitments are kept, over time a team is formed that works in unison. Flexibility enters into the working arrangements and the new family starts to gain adhesion and an identity of its own.

To explore this in more depth, we invite you download our eBook, F-A-C-C-T. It is free for you to use and share.


There is no “just” or “fair” options in divorce. It is about what works for you and your unique situation.

A local San Diego judge shared a metaphor about awareness and how the courts work. We encourage couples to keep this in mind.

She demonstrated the issue by taking a piece, noting that it represented how the court sees couples filing for divorce. She then started to fold that paper. Each new fold included her observation:

  • This is you and what you know about you.
  • This is what those closest to you know about you.
  • This is what your friends know about you.
  • This is what your work associates know about you.
  • This is what people on Facebook know about you.
  • This is what the people at the coffee shop know about you.
  • This is what the judge knows about you and a lot of that is fiction made up in court pleadings.

At this point the exposed amount paper is just a tiny fraction of the entire sheet.

In her view, you are asking a court to make life altering decisions based on very little personal or factual information.