Tag Archive: custody


1.    A Good Lawyer

Well, well, well…big surprise here.  A lawyer recommending you hire a lawyer.  Seriously, lawyers who focus on family law are a little jaded to the day to day drama of family division.  While highly sensitive to the needs of my clients, I know when something is just a big deal to you at this moment or whether it is really a game changer that has to be dealt with or your rights will suffer.  I can explain why you should or should not be concerned about things that happen and in this way keep you calmer and more rational when making important decisions that will affect you down the road.

 

2.     A Sense of Humor

While grieving the loss of a relationship it may seem inappropriate to laugh, but really the best humor gets at our deepest feelings so if something strikes you as a little off or funny it probably means you have stumbled on a kernel of truth about your situation.  Cherish it and laugh.  The act of releasing tension that laughter allows will help break the cycle of anger and concern you may feel at other times in the process.

 

3.      Put It in Writing

Writing is cathartic.  The physical act of typing on keys or writing with pencil or pan and paper helps us let go of our feelings and release them.  It also helps organize our thoughts.  Often the mind becomes cluttered with thoughts seemingly flying around in a tornado of emotion.  Writing down the thoughts let’s us see them clearly or gets them out of our minds to make room for new ideas.  If you are working on money or child custody issues, writing down financial information or custody schedule information can assist your lawyer or the court in helping you come to a settlement where if the ideas were just vague in your mind they might not be as helpful.  So put it in writing.  You will feel better.

4.     Reach Out

Seek support wherever and whenever you can.  The world is full of people who can help you but they can’t do it if you don’t make your needs known.  Talk to people and share a little bit about the challenges you face and you will soon have ideas on next steps to take.  Churches, hospitals, and other organizations have support groups that often meet free of charge.  Seek professional help from a mental health provider if you are feeling especially stressed or unable to manage your emotional issues.

5.  Don’t Neglect the Things You Enjoyed Before You Started The Divorce Process

If you have hobbies or interests, stay with them.  There is this tendency with people if they are in upheaval to abandon ordinary things in their lives that give them pleasure and happiness.  They let the big event take over everything.  Take time out for yourself.  Read, paint, draw, make or listen to music, write, take photographs, scrapbook, cook…whatever it is.  Gardening and being out in nature are especially good for the spirit if you have access to these activities.  Remember there was life before the divorce and there will be life after, therefore there must also be some living during the process.

Act Now

This is not a TV commercial, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You only have this minute or two once in your life. Divorce, like many of life’s other crises, makes people panic. Panic makes people freeze. One of the goals of this site is to get people out of panic mode and into action.

Right now, you are reading this, you are acting. You are not stuck inside your head. That’s good. You are seeking information. Knowledge will make you understand and feel better about your situation.

The best place to start any journey is where you are, so the best thing to do right now is to figure out where you are.  For now, try taking out a piece of paper and writing down what you think are the five most important issues you are facing.  Examples might be:  “I am overwhelmed with responsibility for my children” or “I do not have enough money to pay my bills” or “I feel threatened and unsafe around my spouse” or “I am angry and feel betrayed.”

Just the act of writing these things down will allow you to see them more objectively.  Next you might want to think of something you could do to address these issues.  If your issue is being overwhelmed with responsibility for your children, you could ask someone to watch them for a little while to give you a break.  If the responsibility is on an ongoing basis you could explore child care or organized activities for your children.  If there are larger issues, such as medical care, involved you could ask for help and support from friends and family as you work through your decisions, or you could ask for more help from the children’s other parent, if you feel that he or she is not contributing a fair share of energy to the process.

In future posts I will provide other plans of action, but the important thing is to act now.

There is another way…

Divorce, custody, support, and other family law issues start and end in our homes, living rooms and bedrooms, not in paperwork and in courtrooms.  Family lawyers work exclusively with individuals, we have people as clients, not just “cases.”  Divorces and relationship breakdowns look like endings but in fact they are new beginnings.

This site and my practice are dedicated to these ideals.  In the coming days I will be posting articles, tools and ideas to assist all those touched by family law issues to find a clearer more productive way forward.

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