Surviving Divorce – It’s All About Attitude.
If you reach or have reached the point where divorce is imminent, you will need to look at practical issues. You must push aside your emotions and address the legal issues of divorce. The way you handle this will likely have a ripple effect on the rest of your life. Here is how to make it a ripple and not a tidal wave.
Letting your family and friends know your getting a divorce:
Knowing who is true to you will make the coping with divorce bearable. A supportive friend looks at your situation as a potential opportunity. If you know someone who believes that when one door closes, another one opens, give him or her a call. Look for a person you know who is always ready to give without keeping score. Contact someone who has been a friend through thick and thin. This person may be a sibling or relative, a very old friend or a newer one. This person will understand that you will live and smile again, and will be there to help you believe that too.
Filing for Divorce:
You are about to undo the most serious relationship of your life. Do it with the help of a qualified and reputable attorney. He or she may very well become the most important new relationship in your life for a long time to come, at least until your divorce is final, so choose wisely. Be sure you feel able to express your concerns with this person. A good divorce lawyer is an investment in your future, the best are usually fairly expensive. Invest wisely, don’t hire the first lawyer to talk to. Ask questions, not just legal questions, but personal ones too. This person will be more than your lawyer, he or she will be your counselor at law; he or she will help you examine the legal options you have and help you make the best decisions for your circumstances. If you are uncomfortable with your attorney, you will likely be uncomfortable with the results of your divorce.
Fighting and Using the Children as Pawns:
Should you and your spouse put on the gloves for another round of verbal boxing whose corner do you think your children go to? They most likely run to their own rooms or out the door to a friend’s house. What’s worse, they most likely will go to some private internal space within their own hearts and minds, a place where despair festers and guilt eats away at them. “Mom and Dad are fighting. Is it my fault? Wouldn’t they be happier and have more money if they didn’t have to raise me?” The bottom line is you should not need to be reminded that your children are part of your divorce! Regardless of the state of your relationship, children love both of their parents and you should always strive to show your children it is okay for them to have a quality relationship with both parents.
The Right Attitude:
Divorce is emotional. It can be the end of dreams meant to last a lifetime; it can be sorrow and despair. Divorce can also be the culmination of disagreements, arguments and conflict that have morphed love to hate; it can frustration, anger, even hatred. To successfully navigate a divorce, it is imperative to understand the emotions that we feel. It is necessary to be able to focus not on the hurt or anger, but on the potential of tomorrow.
Divorce need not be an end, but a beginning. To best survive a divorce, one must focus on the future. I counsel my client to create a five-year plan. I have seen many clients dwell on the past, regrets of love lost, or anger over property lost.
In its simplest terms, divorce is the breaking of a contract, and breaking any contract is expensive. It is important to accept that fact and consider the cost an investment in the future. Develop a plan. Life after divorce is a new adventure, one that can be viewed with fear and trepidation, or embraced with excitement and vision. It will likely be scary facing an unknown future, but with support, a solid plan and a good attitude in can be a grand adventure.
I always ask my clients, “where do you want to be in five years?” Don’t dwell, embrace. The future in a tumultuous marriage is not bright. The future after a divorce can be anything you want it to be. It can be a sad ending or a bright beginning. It all depends on developing the right attitude.
Kenneth DeCock is a member of the Wyoming and Arizona State Bars. He has practiced law in Wyoming for 15 years. He has served as both defense counsel and prosecuting attorney in numerous high-profile criminal trials. Kenneth was named “Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyer” by The National Trial Lawyers, Inc in 2015, and “Top 10 Criminal Attorney” for the State of Wyoming by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2015. Kenneth is a partner in Plains Law Offices, LLP in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Disclaimer:As of this date, 3/29/16, all information within this article is accurate and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not rely on this information as it is possible for laws to change.