A common concern we see as advocates for domestic clients is what happens in the time, sometimes substantial time, between a divorce filing and a divorce. Where children are involved, post-divorce matters may, unfortunately, drag on for years. Often Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. counsel face the indirect or direct question of how to live with the proceedings–uncertainty.
There are no sure, fast or simple answers to live with this or any other of life’s burden, such as a tax audit or criminal investigation. “Worry” is a normal aspect of life. However, there are four (4) tried and true ways techniques we observe time which allow litigants to maintain their composure and go on with daily life during a divorce. Will they work for your?
Members of the military are adept at compartmentalization. This allows them to go to the battle and not worry about their family members hundreds or thousands of miles away. The worry of the moment is the task at hand, such as driving the Humvee from point A to point B safely while on high alert.
The concerns about whether their children are safe at the bus stop is placed in a different compartment with the lid closed tight. This technique can be applied to a divorce. During this time, everything in life is subject to change and there are realistic concerns amongst the most secure that about their plot in life post divorce.
A great way to minimize this is to refuse to consider it. Put the worry, angst, unknown in a mental box and close the lit. The other techniques addressed in this blog will aid to make this possible. For instance, a good attorney-client relationship and trust forged in it will help the litigant understand their lawyer is working on their case and is concerned about their future as they are.
This facilitates compartmentalization, know the future is not left to chance, but a professional.
No matter what, being realistic is the key to any part of life. We all cannot win the lottery. Divorce is not any different. Today all states adhere to a “no fault” theory. What this means is no side is going to be (or sufficiently) punished for past misdeeds. Instead, the trial court is going apportion the divorce estate to maximize the future for both litigants, and the children, where that is the case.
A reason may divorces drag on as long as they do, and raise to the level of acrimony, is because the parties want their pound of flesh–the other side to take all of the debt and have the other maintain all of the assets. That is not going to happen to a statistical legal certainty.
The sooner both parties are realistic–the future is going to be worse, at least in the short term-- the more likely the divorce is to be less expensive, protracted, and acrimonious. This is not fair or right, but a matter of basic economics. It costs more to operate two (2) households than one. If you are realistic, it will reduce the downside of a divorce and allow you to live with it and carry on life as normal while the divorce is pending. Sounds easy, but it is hard.
At the same time, in most situations, it is only the immediate future that will be impaired. With a good plan, the future can be bright and better than the past. Keep in mind the adage, when one door closes another opens. Not being realistic obscures the doors that may open.
TRUST YOUR COUNSEL.
Perhaps the best way to survive and have a “normal life” during a divorce is to have confidence in and a trust level with your counsel. Divorce is difficult enough with this level of security. Without out, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the process and spend each day, every day worrying about if the right choices are being made and the proper course followed.
A good relationship with your lawyer allows him or her to fill a myriad of de facto roles, ranging from shoulder to cry on to a voice of reason in a sea of chaos that sometimes defines a divorce. It is not whether your attorney can fill these roles, as most seasoned domestic advocates can and do.
The real issue is whether the trust level is such that you rely on this and allow yourself to rely on his or her skill set to live each day, every day free of overwhelming concern about the divorce action. That is what you are paying your counsel for. Trust him or her and deflect worry and concern by considering you do have an advocate trying to tell your legal story to maximize the future.
In the smallest number of cases, no technique or combination of them is sufficient to allow a litigant to get through the process. These are hard cases. If you find yourself in this case, you should reach out. This may to a long-time friend or psychiatrist or psychologist to seek medication or counseling. You should not be embarrassed.
Every person, rich to poor, or otherwise, needs to reach out from time to time to get a hold of the problems they face. Do not be afraid to do so. This may make a painful divorce less painful or in more acute situations allow one to get out of bed and go on with daily affairs during a very difficult time in life.
Certainly, this list is not exhaustive. We all find solace in different methods at different times in our lives. As compassionate advocates, Ciyou & Dixon hopes these techniques allow you to survive, or thrive, during the time of divorce. Minimally, we hope these allow you to find your own method to deal with this difficult-to-impossible time in your life.
If these suggestions help, we have met our goal. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. may be a proper fit as your divorce counsel. We practice through the State.