Breaking all the moulds of divorce, recently divorced couple Marylise and Jon Smithers say their divorce was a great experience and they’ve never been happier.

The Smithers had been married for 12 years when they decided it was no longer working. They were arguing a lot, and spending less and less time with each other. Eventually, they decided to separate, but weren’t sure how it would affect their two children, Lindsay and Peter.

Jon had heard from a friend at work about a divorce service that was guaranteed to keep them out of court and focus on what was best for the children. He told Marylise about it, and because they both liked the idea of a civilised separation so they went together to meet with the team at MELCA.

They worked through their agreements in collaboration and genuinely made decisions with their children in mind. Working with the family consultant and child psychologist allowed them to discuss issues openly, and find out how the children were feeling. They felt their relationship had been improved through the process, and that they could move forward as friendly co-parents.

Speaking about their experience working with the team at MELCA, Jon says, “Look, nobody wants to get divorced, and you dread going through it, but ultimately it was what we both wanted and needed, and we’ve ended up having a better relationship as a result.”

Lindsay and Peter reside primarily with Marylise, and everyone is happy with that arrangement. The whole family celebrates holidays and birthdays together, including Jon’s new partner, Roxanne.

It might not be your traditional fairy tale, but this is certainly one for the MELCA books, but not the only one.