The Human Side of the Divorce Process
Divorce is most likely one of the most emotional events a person can go through during their lifetime. As a family law attorney that has handled many divorces throughout my years, I have come to recognize the various phases that most people experience. Ending a marriage is tough no matter how you slice it. The best comparison I can come up with is a rollercoaster. You will experience many highs and lows throughout the process. I’ve found the people that cope the best have a strong support group consisting of friends and family. Many have great outcomes by joining a divorce support group or therapists to help them process their feelings. Knowing how to process those feelings and some idea of what to expect will help ease some of the fear of the unknown and help you navigate what you are going through. Being able to understand your feelings and process them will help you think more clearly and allow you to make the difficult decisions required during such a life-altering event.
If you are not the one that wants the divorce, your first emotion will most likely be denial. It’s hard to accept the reality that what you had once planned for the future is ending. Denial allows people to remove themselves from the harsh reality they are facing. It is perfectly normal to feel this way, but feeling this way too long could keep you from responding to divorce papers in a timely fashion. Denial also often delays retaining an attorney. As hard as it may be to face the reality, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Next, many feel a great sadness that the marriage and life they once had will inevitably change. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to grieve the loss of a relationship. A support group is very beneficial during this stage. As in the denial stage, many people find it difficult to deal with the situation and make the necessary hard decisions.
After you process the denial and sadness stage, anger tends to set in. This stage is when the blame and rage come out. Unfortunately, many people don’t ever get past this stage causing them to make vindictive decisions and saying and doing things that can’t be unsaid. Throughout my years of handling divorces and emotional cases, I have seen this evolve into text messages and public posts on social media. I cannot emphasize enough that you should never text or post things on social media that can be used against you during the divorce process. Once it’s out there, it’s out there and can’t be taken back. If you cannot help yourself, I often recommend that my clients deactivate their social media accounts until after the divorce is settled. Check out one of my previous blogs about social media influences on divorces. When it comes to decision making, do not make your decisions purely on emotion especially those that are based on revenge. It is important that you remember these decisions will affect you and your children for the rest of your life.
I have found in many cases that the initiator struggles with his or her decision to file for divorce and guilt take over. It is normal to question your decision and start analyzing the reality of the outcome. Some people often find themselves feeling so guilty that they don’t make rational decisions and will give in to their soon-to-be ex’s demands. As your legal counsel, it is my job to make sure that you don’t make irrational decisions and advise you against such action.
Most people can find themselves in a depression as the reality has settled in. It is of the utmost importance that you lean on your support group and/or seek professional help.
Finally, there is a ray of hope as you can accept the new chapter of your life. You even find a sense of joy and excitement in what the future holds.
When you hire Kevin Hickey Law Partners, you not only get our experience and legal expertise, you will get the care and compassion you deserve. If you are considering a divorce or have been served divorce papers, call today for a consultation.