The Real F-A-C-C-Ts of Divorce

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Over our years as mediators, we have seen couples struggle with the emotional and financial aspects of divorce. Some couples survive the process relatively unscathed and successfully move on with their lives. Others continue to wallow in bitterness and anger which negatively affects their ability to heal.

From our observations, we have noticed a pattern that, if followed, can help a couple, their children, and extended families get through the divorce process successfully. We call the pattern F-A-C-C-T®.

These five letters — representing five foundational principles — are the new rules for couple separation:

Family Re-Formation

Family Re-Formation is taking something that exists now and restructuring it into something better for the future.


Awareness has to do with couples understanding what got them to this point. When spouses remarry and haven’t tackled the issue(s) that led them to divorce in the first place, they jeopardize their new relationship.


Communication in divorce is the respectful exchange of accurate information, and that is all it is. It is showing courtesy to one another.

Commitment and Trust

From a legal standpoint, divorce is similar to a lawsuit over a breach of a contract, the contract being the marital agreement. The resolution is the creation of a new agreement: the marital settlement agreement (MSA). For a successful divorce, both sides must be committed to making the settlement agreement work. Over time, this leads to building trust that both parties are going to live up to their side of the bargain.


  • Family Re-Formation
  • Awareness
  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Trust

These are not terms couples have associated with ending a marriage. They are more likely to believe that they are separating based on the lack of these qualities. However, through mediation, they discover that these are the keys to moving forward.

In upcoming articles, we will examine each of the F-A- C-C- T Ⓡ foundational principles in more detail. The goal is to teach couples what divorce is really all about: something outside of court that can move them forward in life. It’s about helping families, and couples rebuild their lives.


Armand and Robbin D’Alo