The Past, Present & Future of Divorce

Ben, Nikki, Susan, and Kate welcomed Gabrielle Hartley to discuss the future of divorce on their latest livestream. Hartley is the founder and owner of Better Apart, which provides divorce coaching, mediation, and legal services. She also wrote Better Apart, which is a comprehensive guide on fostering a positive divorce and received rave reviews.

Divorce has been an ever-evolving practice.

The process of divorce in the past was all about zealous advocacy. That means a lawyer did everything reasonably within their means to help a client achieve their goal. A big problem with this is that in the context of family law, it’s a different animal. Nowadays, law schools have more resources and opportunities for alternative dispute resolution, essentially anything that isn’t fighting or courtroom oriented. Despite these changes, divorce culture hasn’t come as far as it should. The future of divorce culture is up in the air until we change the cultural view of it. Before we can do that, we need to better understand some parts of divorce that aren’t often talked about.

Divorce cases have a history of being handled like any other case, but they don’t have to be. It’s always been that party A versus party B. You set out allegations as to what somebody did wrong and state what you wanted, then you go out to find facts to support your side and to disprove the other side. This process only brings in more negativity to an already tough situation. 


You have more choices in a divorce than getting a lawyer.

Unless you have a spouse that is impossible to deal with, you can find a mediator or divorce coach to help you through the process. The point of a mediator or divorce coach is to help keep your emotions and expectations in check. That way when you make decisions, they aren’t solely based on negative emotions. There are even coaches who deal with high conflict and can kind you through more turbulent divorces.

Mediators do not make decisions for the parties involved in a divorce. Mediation is where both parties sit down and the mediator, or neutral party, helps the parties involved identify the issues that need to be resolved in order to get a divorce. As well, a mediator would provide a neutral understanding of the law around those issues and to facilitate conversations so they can come to agreements about those issues. 

Understanding what motivates the other party in deciding what they want out of a divorce can help you create a collaborative divorce. It’s always important to understand a partner’s wants and emotions, and this applies to partners who are soon-to-be exes. Positions and interests are two different things and it’s important to have the conversation that addresses that. 


Divorce does not have to be a war where the courtroom is a battlefield.

By educating ourselves on the resources available to us and healthier practices, we can change how our lives turn out after a divorce and how the culture will shift if it becomes commonplace. 


To listen to watch other live streams from Our Happy Divorce, visit our Youtube page.

Don’t forget to follow us on all of our social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to join our private Facebook community, please visit the Our Happy Divorce Facebook Group

To learn more about Kate Anthony and The Divorce Survival Guide, visit her on Facebook and Instagram or visit Listen to her podcast at

Discover more about Susan Guthrie and The Divorce and Beyond Podcast on Facebook and Instagram or at Listen to the Divorce and Beyond Podcast here:

To learn more about Gabrielle Hartley, check out her Facebook and Instagram or visit her website To learn more about her book, visit

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