How To Divorce WITH Your Sanity In The Age Of Instant Gratification

Photo: weheartit
quick divorce

If only it was as quick and easy to get divorce as it is to get married.

If Amazon Prime can't deliver something tomorrow, I don't want it. (I recently heard Amazon is working on a way to deliver orders within the hour. Yes, please!) 

The more I think about it, the more I realize I've definitely fallen in love with, what I call, the Instant Gratification Lifestyle.

Technology has literally transformed the way I work and live. At work, Gmail brings me instant messages and Skype connects me to people around the world. At home, Fresh Direct delivers my groceries to my kitchen counter. Stitch Fix picks out clothes for me and Plated plans my meals and sends me ingredients.

If I call the local wine store, they'll deliver a case of wine within the hour (and yes, that is as dangerous as it sounds). In fact, I can think of very few things I need that I can't get within 24 hours, including a sexual encounter. 

Recently, Porter Magazine's Vassi Chamberlain explored modern love and the idea that "something significant has clearly changed the way we find love, and predictably its root cause lies with the internet."

It's true, I can easily jump online right now and line up a date for tonight. Depending on where I'm "shopping," it could be someone who is gay or straight, male or female, old or young, kinky or romantic. I just have to check some boxes and (voilá!)—free drinks and probably a whole lot more.

Let's say that spur of the moment date goes really well and we decide, "What the hell, let's get married!" We could then jump online and book a flight to Vegas and be married by morning. 

Talk about instant gratification! One minute I'm minding my own business flirting online, and the next day I'm a Mrs. with a ring on it!

But let's say once the champagne wears off—either one day, or 20 years later—and I realize this marriage is not for me and I want a divorce. Suddenly instant gratification is out the window. There is no such thing as an "instant divorce." We can't order one online and we can't have it right now.

There is no instant "undo" button for your marriage.

Personally, I think it's way too easy to get married. I'm not referring to the wedding and the party part; I mean obtaining the marriage license you file at the courthouse. That is what makes you married in the eyes of the state.

Here you are, on cloud nine, planning a lifetime with someone and all you have to do is download and fill out a simple form, and take it to the courthouse. You can easily get this done in 24 hours. In the scheme of planning a wedding, obtaining the actual marriage license is the least time consuming part. It feels like a mere "Oh, yeah ... don't forget to" formality. I should know ... I've done it, twice.

But here's the thing: that simple little document means you just legally bound yourself, and your finances, to another person (in many cases, truly for life). You've entered a legally binding contract and I don't think everyone fully understands that.

When you get married, it's all sunshine, happiness, bridesmaid dresses, and endorphins flowing, and the one form you fill out is simple and straightforward. When you want a divorce, however, you're an emotional mess staring down at highly complex paperwork that is incredibly overwhelming. There are pages and pages of it. It's so confusing that most people need an attorney to interpret and handle it for them.

The stakes are high in a divorce. Decisions made during settlement affect your financial future and your very livelihood. So perhaps, we shouldn't figure that out in 24 hours or less. Maybe it's a good thing you can't get divorced in the same time it takes to order a new pair of shoes online.

What Chamberlain points out in the Porter Magazine article, though, is that while you can't obtain an insta-divorce, you do have access to divorce support right now: "Forget the one-sided battle of old and the ugliness of divorce courts: now there are coaches—professionals, not lawyers—who counsel on the procedures, the documentation, and how to navigate a war so that both sides will feel like the victor."

While your divorce won't be finalized quickly, you do have choices and you can start creating a happier new future now.     

You can tap into resources available to you and surround yourself with a team who helps you navigate the process. Divorce coaches, support groups, therapists, bloggers, authors ... there's world of people out there that you can connect to instantly, who will be there to support you in a myriad of ways. 

SAS for Women is New York City's first comprehensive divorce information, education and support center. Reach out to SAS now and receive six free months of email coaching delivered to your inbox or sign up for a free 45 minute consultation. SAS can't ship your divorce out and have it on your doorstep by tomorrow morning, but they can help you understand where you are, what steps you can take to feel better, and will support you for as long as you need.