Simply Put, Divorce Is Hard
A simple truth, but one that deserves to be restated. When you take a household and split it into two pieces, the result is generally very different from what preceded it. If you have children, you have no choice but to continue a relationship with your ex. This article suggests some things to consider, not in an attempt to “scare” you into remaining a bad marriage, but instead, trying to help you to raise your awareness of the consequences of telling your spouse “I want a divorce.”
Because divorce is often an adversarial process, simple decisions become much more complex. Your ex may see you as the enemy, so cooperation is not their goal. They may express their bitterness by fighting every single issue in your divorce. Litigation is expensive, so “fighting every step” can make a difficult divorce very expensive.
The younger the children, the longer you will have to deal with your ex. You also have to get used to the idea that you are now on your own raising your children. You become a single parent overnight. Your finances become greatly complicated. Your children ask difficult questions, “Why did Daddy move out” or “How come you’re not going to be at my birthday party?”
People are often surprised by how long the process can drag on and how expensive it can be. The courts tend to be overworked; their calendars are crowded and being an arm of the government, subject to ongoing budget cuts as states are faced with budget deficits.
While the connection may not seem very direct, years of cuts and cries to reduce taxes leads to inadequate staffing at every level in the courts, from the clerks to the judges. This means a clogged calendar for hearings. Georgia is running a $2 billion deficit this year and a similar deficit is projected for 2012, so little relief is in sight.
Friends May See You Differently
Friends and acquaintances may take your divorce in unexpected ways. Some will want to avoid you, as if you had a disease that they could catch and they don’t want to be “infected.”
Other friends may have originally have been your ex’s and they may go with him or her. You may no longer be welcome with your in-laws, even if you have known them for 20 years. Other friends may simply grow tired of having to listen to complaining about your divorce.
As your divorce deepens, it may become difficult to differentiate items that are not related to your divorce. Your friends will want to be supportive, but they probably won’t see your divorce in the same all-consuming way that you might.
Finances will be difficult, as you are attempting to run two separate households on the same cash flow as your unified family household had. You may have to return to work. You may need to sell the family home, no small problem in this real estate market. You may have to live in an apartment.
Wonder What It’s Like To Be A Single Parent?
Divorce is a good way to find out. You have to become used to being a single parent when you have your children. There is no longer anyone else “to watch the kids while I run to the store…” or for any other reason. You have to get them to and pick them up from day care, school or anywhere else. You will have to live with awareness that your movements must be planned; your spontaneity will be greatly reduced.
Judgment: Yours and the Courts
Your divorce will leave you questioning your judgment. How could you have not seen the mistake you were making? If you could screw up such an important decision as who to marry and become a parent for your children, how do you know you are making any decisions correctly?
It may leave you wondering how the Judge could be so blind, and you may not understand why they don’t view your ex in the same manner you, especially when it is so clear.
You may even question your own attorney. Your attorney will work to protect and advance your interests, but they cannot control everything, and they can’t make your ex cooperative. They are a professional, hired to do a job.
It is important to remember they are not there to provide psychological counseling; they are there to perform a legal service. While they may learn more of your intimate secrets than your close friends and you must have a trusting, working relationship with them, it is a working relationship.
It Will Get Better
You will rebuild your life and that of your children. The pain will eventually ebb, and you may gain enough distance to see your ex as the other parent of your children, and regain the ability to work with them.
The more you know about the process, and how you will have to adapt your mindset, the easier it will be. Your challenges will be great and small, so the more you can focus on the endgame, that of rebuilding your life, the more you will be able to cope with discomforts that go with the process of divorce.
How An Experienced Divorce Attorney Can Help
After reading all this, you may be discouraged, and think no one can help. An experienced family law attorney really can help. They understand all of the problems. They can go over your particular situation, explain the likely outcomes, prepare you for hearings and any other legal issues you will face.
While they are not a psychologist, they are a professional, and they have a great deal of personal experience working with clients in similar circumstances and can offer insight into many aspects of the divorce experience, from dealing with adversarial and combative ex-spouses to irritable judges.
The echoes of your divorce will last a long time…you want to be sure the decisions you make today are the right ones. Speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney so you can plan your divorce and your future.
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