Relationships Podcast Post

Amicable Divorce with Meghan Freed

George Grombacher October 20, 2022

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Amicable Divorce with Meghan Freed

LifeBlood: We talked about amicable divorce, what a good divorce looks like, why it’s essential to depersonalize this difficult process, and why now could be the best time for you to get divorced, with Meghan Freed, divorce attorney with Freed Marcroft. 

Listen to learn why you need to let go of the love you have for your problems!

You can learn more about Meghan at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Meghan Freed

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hey what’s up? This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Megan freed. Megan, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:22
I sure am. George. Thanks for having me.

george grombacher 0:24
I’m excited to have you on. Megan is a divorce attorney, family lawyer, divorce mediator and collaborative family attorney with freed Mark Croft. Megan, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:39
Cool. So we opened a divorce and family law firm. And the important thing to know is that the reason when George asked me about my personal life that I started with an answer about my law firm is that I actually opened and run my law firm with my wife, Kristen Moorcroft. So the interesting part for a lot of people is the idea that you have to divorce lawyers that are married. Yeah, right. So I like to, like make sure people know that. And the reason for that, honestly, the reason that it came to divorce, before we opened, freed, Mark Croft, Kristen went to law school later in life. So she was a newer lawyer. I had been a lawyer for a long time. But I had done federal civil work like shareholder derivative suits and things like that real like Financial Litigation. And it, I got to a point where my helping my large corporate clients didn’t make the same sort of transformation in my clients lives, right. It was money as working with individual clients going through a divorce did. And one of the interesting pieces of this right is that there’s, there’s really two things we do in divorce, we do money, and we do kids when you get to the down to the nuts and bolts of the divorce itself. And because of my background, I have a particular interest in knowledge based around the money side of it, right, the financials. And of course, they’re not on the same scale as a billion dollar business dispute. But in terms of the impact on people’s lives, they’re they’re off the charts more.

george grombacher 2:49
No doubt about that. All right. So you started you opened and operate a family law firm with your wife or family law divorce firm with your wife? Yes. Is that a good idea?

Unknown Speaker 3:03
I mean, for us, it’s great. So when, so when we started the firm. That was back in 2012. And when we started the firm, I, I think that we naturally found divorce, we started more general practice, and we wound up niching, down into divorce. For us, it has been a really incredible thing to do, which is that we help people get into the lives that they want to live. I’ve been divorced. And I’ll tell you that I wouldn’t be in the happy marriage that I’m in now without it. Right? So for me, being in a divorce law firm, where my partner’s my wife makes the most sense in the world, because it’s how I got to build a firm that went from just the two of us to 25 people. And it’s how I get to live the kind of life I want to live with the person I want to live it with divorce was the key that unlocked my happiest life.

george grombacher 4:19
I love it. Congratulations on that. Thank you. So I think that we all know what a bad divorce is. And there’s horrible stories about divorces dragging on destroying families and costing all the money and just just being all terrible. But yeah, that’s certainly divorce is also a wonderful thing. You know, it’s not good or bad. Be a wonderful thing. So what what is a good divorce?

Unknown Speaker 4:47
So for me, I was just talking to you about the outcome of divorce, right? Like the good outcome is that you’re no longer married to the person you’re not meant to be married to. And If you have children, a good outcome is that you have children with two happier parents. That’s the best case scenario on the financial side, and everyone’s able to continue to live the lives that they want to live without. Without too much adjustment, right. And I think one of the things that you have to think about about the divorce process itself and how and how that goes, is one of the things that we say to people is that the single determiner for how expensive your divorce will be in terms of attorneys fees, is the degree of acrimony between the two parties. Right? That is the thing that runs up the bill. I, the lawyers in our firm, they mediate they practice Collaborative Law, these are all mechanisms designed to support people in decreasing acrimony. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter what format your divorce takes, whether you wind up into default, which is in a litigation, or whether you opt into one of the most common alternative ways to resolve your divorce that keep you out of court, mediation and collaborative divorce. It’s the two people involved, that really, really drive the acrimony. And when we talk about increasing fees in a divorce, that’s often like a shorthand way to talk about expense. Because the expense isn’t just in terms of legal fees in a what people think of as a bad divorce, the expenses also kids winding up on the stand, the expenses, also the amount of time it takes from start to finish to actually get divorced. The expense is how distracted you are from the things that you want to be doing in your life. job performance is impacted your personal relationships outside your marriage are impacted. There’s a lot of cost to a high conflict divorce.

george grombacher 7:22
And talking about that, that makes perfect sense. Like now it’s obvious, but probably when I’m in the thick of it, and I am feeling that sense of acrimony. I’m not thinking about that. So I’m not able to really weigh for lack of a better term, the cost benefits the cost of a long drawn out divorce versus the benefit of just moving past it.

Unknown Speaker 7:44
Right. Yeah, I mean, this is this is the hardest piece, right? Because it’s so personal. And I think that one of the things that people go back to time and time again, is that it just doesn’t feel fair, right? This is why we have the fight. Every divorce lawyer has a story of the divorce that comes down to fighting about something that is so small, that it’s not, it’s so obviously not worth the money that you spend fighting about it. In my world. It was a blender. Right? And I’ll tell you, like, wasn’t even a nice blunder. We’re talking, we’re talking about, you know, an austere or something. And I, and what what my partner and I did was we just mailed the blender, right? We couldn’t, we couldn’t take it. But of course, it’s never about the blender, right? It’s about whether or not someone is able to let go of the love that they have for their problem. And I think that the people that are most successful in navigating the divorces are either people that have done significant personal growth work prior to the divorce, or people that are open to the concepts of it during the divorce. So one of the things that we do internally is invite clients to start to explore things like the Four Agreements, right, which is a primmer to help you, among other things, not take it personally, the things that your spouse is doing that feel so targeted against you are in fact about things that are going on for them. There’s another dynamic that we talk about this a book called te d, the empowerment dynamic. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but one of the Yeah, so it’s really back in the I think the 1960s there was a there are a lot of psychological studies that explained the trauma that what was then called the trauma triangle, right? So basically, the trauma triangle He thinks of having a victim with a persecutor and a rescuer. And in in the legal divorce context, what happens is if you get someone who’s in victim mode, I don’t, I don’t that the term victim can be complement, complicated for a lot of obvious reasons. So think about this, this as a victim mode, like someone who’s feeling disempowered, who’s feeling like they don’t have control over their lives. That happens a lot as you can imagine, particularly when you’re on the receiving end of a divorce that you might not want, right? And what the empowerment dynamic does, it sort of turns that triangle on its head, and gives the person who might be inclined to slip into victim mode, the opportunity of regaining control and responsibility for their own own decisions. It’s called a creator. And then the persecutor and the rescuer, flip into Challenger and coach so that everyone is focused on responsibility and control for the person who’s navigating the thing. And our clients that are able to do that, that are able to see themselves as Look, I don’t have any control. This divorce is happening. That is a fact. But what I do have control over is how I behave through this process, how I act, and in what my life looks like, after no one can dictate that for you, unless you let them. And those folks have good divorces. They’re not in charge, or able to control what their spouse’s actions are. But they are 100% in control of their reactions to them.

george grombacher 11:56
Some really powerful stuff there again, can you let go of the love you have for your problem? That’s right. That’s a big question right

Unknown Speaker 12:06
there. Yeah. It’s cheap, right? I mean, for a lot of people, the the drama of the pain is really difficult. That’s why the blender, right at the end. It’s like, the idea of letting go, the idea of it being over is really, really hard for some people. Because if they haven’t made the switch into being a creator, and taking responsibility for it and control over their own lives, will kind of what’s left when the when the divorce is that they haven’t built that.

george grombacher 12:51
Can you let go love you. If your problem? Well, there’s probably very little chance I’m going to be able to do that if I have no idea what life will look like on Monday when I wake up after Exactly,

Unknown Speaker 13:01
this. Exactly. One of the things that happens when we get married especially is there’s so much societal pressure fantasies, right? Like if you think about the end of all the old Disney movies, and they walked down the aisle, right, so even mermaids walk one of the things is like when you take that away from people, the the the life that they envisioned was often very tied up in their marriage. And so you do have to make a shift, and start to envision a future and build a future that isn’t prescribed by what your mom told you. And Cinderella, right? You have to you have to build the future. That’s what you actually want. We’ve seen people do really cool things like you know, so we are based in Hartford, which is the in the insurance capital of the world. So in Hartford, one of the things you see is a lot of folks in insurance, and then finance and lawyers like the services that support them. In Connecticut more generally, because we serve the entire state. There are a lot of folks as you get closer to New York City, in finance. So these people have what you would call like fairly, like white collar professional jobs. And when people make the switch and really start to envision a new future, all of a sudden, things start happening. People move to Europe, they move to Colorado, they become fly fishing guides. I mean, all of these things, start to I used my own experience and I use that that expression like that, that locked for me. The best horses it unlocks, and people do Get a blank slate and start to write it over. One of the things that I had a client once very, very concerned, his parents had been divorced. And one of the things that happened is he just became he spent less time with his dad, they became, they became a lot less close, right. And that, that’s much less likely to happen. Now it’s a it’s a different world in terms of how share shared parenting works. But that was his experience. And so as he was going through divorce, and his own kids, he really had a hard time thinking about him, not about his kids not having two homes with four bedrooms each and a white picket fence and everything. And by the end of the divorce, this guy bought a lake house, and a boat, and jet skis, and all number of water toys, and develop this totally different relationship with his life without his kids. And his life with his kids, when they were visiting his house sort of became like, a, an oasis home. Right? And so really cool things happen. When people are like, Yeah, you know, I gotta take responsibility for this, but it also gives me a heck of a lot of control about how long

george grombacher 16:21
super powerful, and I think unlock is, is is the perfect term for that. And, I mean, certainly, I, I guess I would never well, I guess I would wish divorce on people that that are unhappy. Yeah. And if it does unlock that, and it gives you the space to, to rip away or strip away all those assumptions that we are living under and says, Okay, you know, if, if I could live any way, how would I really want to live? What a huge opportunity,

Unknown Speaker 16:57
right? The process itself is the process itself, that we just like, we make as good as we can for people, and we hope that everyone engages in that effort. But short of that what really matters is the other side of it. And the focus on the other side of it is, is that’s actually the key. One of the things that I always like to say to is waiting, waiting in order to make a series, a serious run of it, through marriage therapy, making sure that really ending the marriage is the right decision, right. That’s an investment of time, that is worth it. But once you know that, you really need to think of the expense of not moving forward, if the decision is made, right. keeping everyone stuck. Because taking that first step is so intimidating, generally causes additional pain.

george grombacher 18:11
It makes a ton of sense. If you’ve done everything, and exhausted all alternatives and explored a new life with this person, is it possible to shape and craft the life that I want with this person? If the answer’s no. Time to rip the band aid off mega yacht I

Unknown Speaker 18:30
go. That’s right. That’s right. And people can get stuck in that like exhausting all possibilities thing to there’s a loop that can happen where it’s like, well, maybe it wasn’t this therapist, it’s that therapist, like if you’re on your third therapist, it’s probably not the therapist. Or I just need another version of these are kind of things to watch out. Like if you’re in an avoidance loop. Another sign is like you’ve read the entire internet on divorce. Right? Like, how much alimony might I have to pay? Well, what’s the matter if you’re staying married? The decision is whether or not to stay married, and then we’ll deal with how it might look.

george grombacher 19:17
Yeah. Easy to get twisted up. And all of that. Sure is. Fascinating. This has been a really, really great conversation. Megan. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 19:30
Thank you, George. It’s been a pleasure.

george grombacher 19:33
Thank you for coming out Where Where can people learn more about you?

Unknown Speaker 19:37
Yeah, so so we are available everywhere at fried And it’s free like the verb past tense fr Ed. And Mark craft is Mar c r o f and t t is and t is and Tom. That’s the website. It’s Facebook, its Instagram. It’s Twitter. And we are there and whether or not you’re in Connecticut or not, we’d love to try to help you find someone who’s the right fit for you. If you truly want one of the Creator divorces that I’m talking about. Excellent.

george grombacher 20:20
Well, if you enjoy this as much as I did show, make a new appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to fried It’s F R Ed and check out all the great resources that we’ve been talking about today. Thanks, good, man. Thanks, George. Such a pleasure. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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