Divorce: There Will Be Collateral Damage
I am a strong advocate for family. I am also a divorce attorney. If viewed as two isolated viewpoints, you may believe I live a very conflicted life. In reality, the two belief systems are very much connected. Divorce plays an important role in our community by offering people a way out of abusive, and often dangerous, situations. It also provides a vehicle to end marriages which have simply failed because of the failures of the parties. This in turn allows the parties to move forward in a more healthy way.
As you can imagine, there are certain side effects that people expect to result from their divorce, ie a smaller income, a division of property, less visitation with their children, or a child support obligation. However, the collateral damage which results from a divorce is often much deeper and personal than people imagine at the outset.
In almost every divorce there will be emotional and psychological effects which will be experienced at some point, and often are carried for months or years even after the divorce has been finalized. Many people believe these psychological and emotional effects stem from the high conflict nature of a contested divorce. But I see the effects even in my most amicable divorces.
There comes a point during the divorce when reality actually sets in. When people realize that their lives are now different. When they realize that not having full access to their children 24 hours a day 7 days a week hurts more than they imagined. When they realize that their spouse, despite all of his/her aggravating habits will still be very involved in their children’s lives.
Now, I do not believe everyone who gets divorced should not get divorced just to avoid feeling the unexpected hurt, guilt, or emptiness that will inevitably come. In many cases, the hurt they feel during their marriage is much worse.
What I am suggesting is that everyone involved in a divorce should seek treatment from a qualified therapist to help them cope with the adjustment from married life. The transition is not easy, but it can be made bearable with the support of a qualified divorce adjustment therapist.
I maintain relationships with many qualified divorce adjustment therapists that are willing and able to help my clients, which helps my clients make informed and rational decisions during their divorce and helps them cope with the inevitable collateral damage they suffer during and after the divorce is final.