GUEST BLOG – Audra Holbeck, JD
Attorney, Holbeck Law Office
Original Post September 2016 – Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota


1) a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it towards its center; or
2) a place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that it surrounds, and hence, being inescapable or destructible

Sound familiar?

It’s tornado season, so many of us in the Midwest think of a tornado when we think of a vortex. Regardless of where you live, if you are going through a divorce, this definition might sound like something you experience rather than something you see, and so, the term Divortex seems appropriate.

Unfortunately, too many people have the vortex experience when they divorce. It is all too true: the whirling mass of chaos, negativity, and craziness suck everything into its center. The tornado analogy continues with “destroying everything in its path…leaving nothing but…rubble.” Not a pretty picture. You don’t have to be part of this, however.

Divorce is devastating. No one plans to get divorced. Marriages end for various reasons. There is undoubtedly anger and sadness. The clouds roll in, the thunder begins, and it rains. For a long time. But, the divorce process shouldn’t make your relationship worse. Unfortunately, the legal process often turns the rainstorm into not only a flash flood, but a tornado. The legal process contributes to the mess, and thus, the divortex forms, sucking everything into its center: your time, money, emotions, plans, life, EVERYTHING. You have absolutely no control over what it does or where it goes. You are helpless and at its mercy. All you can do is go to the lowest level (which happens inadvertently in litigation) in your home. Stay away from windows. And if you are a person of faith…pray. If you aren’t a person of faith, well, it’s never too late to start. With all due respect to the judges who hear and decide family cases, especially the difficult ones, court IS a whirlwind. You just never know what will happen.

Fortunately, you can choose a process where, believe it or not, there is at least a faint glimmer of a rainbow at the end. (Probably not a pot of gold, but a rainbow, nonetheless.) Selecting Collaboration is the first step. You and your spouse decide what the outcome will look like (not a judge). You and your spouse have a voice and participate in the meetings and the decision making. Using a team of trained professionals, you will create your own rainbow. If you want all the colors of the spectrum, perfect! If, however, you’d rather have the cooler colors of green, blue, and indigo, you got it! No one is judging. Really. Sound too good to be true? Nope. (And no worries, I’m not going to bring unicorns into this story.)

In Part 2 next week, I will discuss HOW Collaboration can help you avoid the Divortex. Stay tuned.