Having been in and practiced divorce law for nearly 25 years, I have gleaned a few points I have never forgotten that can help make a simple to highly contested divorce better during the process and for the rest of your life. In this blog post, I share these with you and hope it will make your life a little better, you divorce smoother as well as life after, aids your children, and gives you a new insight and respect on the difficult-to-impossible jobs of lawyers and judges handling these cases.
- The Best Interests: Where child custody is in dispute during the divorce and beyond, a parent can always do the best job of parenting and litigation by thinking about, acting, and answer (in court) in a way that is truly in the children’s best interests. So if it is mom or dad’s particular day for parenting but a unique opportunity comes up that the kids would love to do with the other parent, allow it. Following the simple (but difficult to implement) rule or way of thinking will make the most of the divorce and post-divorce world for your
- Find a Happy Place: The divorce process itself creates unease and leaves everyone (including the children) unsettled. Without conscious effort, it is easy to let this permeate your every aspect of life, including your relationship with your attorney and impression and presentation of evidence to the court. Remember all of life is unsettled, and you could just as easily be injured in an accident or be diagnosed with a disease. Find something in every day you can focus on that will bring you pleasure. It can be a happy experience or future goal. Lots of psychological research documents that negative thinking leads to more of such and acts. Reach out to friends, family, or professionals if you need it to get there.
- A Few Moments of Peace and Silence: The ideas, interests, and commonality that brought a couple to together has an interesting way of becoming a negative focal point (i.e., now one watches too much sports) in a divorce and after. Even if you disagree, the divorce is set or complete and nothing positive can be gained from trying to change a character feature. Accept it and make a conscious choice to let it go. This is particularly true where children are involved. Do not let children overhear disputes or see negative expression. Focus on what the child will do with the other in the positive (even if you do not agree with it). Treat any significant other as a “bonus” figure.
- Reach Out: Most people as a means of self-preservation and esteem tend to turn inward during a time of conflict. Most all attorneys and judges will tell you everyone has problems from time to time. Given that half-of marriages end in divorce, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of sources of help. This may range from formal psychotherapy, medication to less formal support groups from churches and family centers to more specialized sources like financial planners. There are a host of on-line resources as well. Be very careful not to select resources that will only agree with you and villanize the ex-spouse. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
- Give to the Point It Hurts: The nature of some cases is that no party will engage in give and take. The parents and children grow up in turmoil and conflict in divorce and post-divorce proceedings. Try to avoid this being your case. A well-intentioned litigant will give and give to avoid conflict or going to court unless the issue materially will impact him/her or the best interests of the children.
These insights are relatively universal, but elusive to understand and implement. If even one helps you, it will make this blog post meet its objective and make you a healthier person and facilitate the children’s best interests. This blog post was written by attorney Bryan Ciyou at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. We hope you find it helpful and practical. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice throughout the State of Indiana. This blog is not intended to solicit legal representation or a specific legal advice.