New York is holding it’s first Divorce Expo. It’s called the ‘Start Over Smart’ expo, designed to empower those going through divorce to move on. The founders, a mother and daughter team, went to one in Paris, and thought that it was something that Americans dearly needed to have. As there is a billion dollar industry in wedding expos – parading around everything from dresses, to honeymoon destinations, to wedding cakes, reception centres and everything in between, they thought, why isn’t there a divorce expo? After all, we do spend more money on divorces than we do a wedding, and our self-esteem is at it’s lowest while we go through a divorce, so why not create an expo that helps people get through such a horrific ordeal?
I agree… the lack of support from professionals, family and friends that have never gone through the situation personally is more heartbreaking than losing a partner. Lawyers do everything to take your money, your friends don’t want to know you because you’re ‘not a couple’ anymore, and your family don’t want your bad luck rubbing off on them. You need to find your own way, because there is no rule book to guide you, and then the only help you get, is from friends who have been or a going through the situation, and all those who haven’t gone through a divorce label you as ‘one of those.’ They say that you’re stuck in the negativity of what you’re going through and you’re really not a nice person to be around, so we won’t be there for you.
And it is a horrible time. For me, as the one who instigated the separation, it was empowering being able to have the courage to leave him. And that empowerment lasted about six months, where I was able to become my own person again. Then it was the ugliness of legal letters, mediation, court battles and trying to protect your children when the law refuses to protect them for you. Australian Family Law is truly about equal rights to parenting, even though there was never any equality in the marriage, or even after the marriage split when there has been no interest from the other side to want legal custody… but the law forces it upon you anyway. It’s such an injustice.
The Start Over Smart Expo covers everything from lawyers, psychologists, making yourself look good again, financial advice, plastic surgeons and even those who offer reconciliation services for those who think there maybe a glimmer of opportunity to get back together again. They also had a single’s lounge for those interested in finding a new mate amongst the other future divorcees.
The founders said that they don’t advocate divorce, but they do want to advocate supporting those who feel helpless in a time when they need as much support as they possible will ever need in their lifetime. Show them that there is life after marriage and it’s a chance to do all the things you want to do and not be led down a path of your past partner’s interests and your common bond (generally, your family). As, for most, that is possibly the hardest part to overcome.