Tonight's post on keeping calm in family law was written by one of
our Atlanta divorce attorney's
Today I want to step into Dr. Phil's shoes and discuss the non-legal
side of divorce. Being a family law lawyer, I see so much pain and emotions,
and some really sad situations. I can attest that going through a divorce
is never easy. It affects you financially and emotionally, takes a toll
on your family, friends, and children, steals your sleep and confidence.
There is no way to sweeten divorce - everything changes, from your income
and health insurance to when you can see your children. I have a number
of clients who did not care that they would not have access to fat paychecks
of their husbands for much longer, but just the thought of sharing kids
with their ex-spouses during holidays and school breaks would make them
go bananas. I am not a therapist or a medical professional, but I have
numerous clients, men and women, going through divorce, and wanted to
share some of the things that seem to be helpful.
â¢1. You don't know what is going to happen next and adjusting
to a life without a spouse could be more difficult than you imagine. Plan
ahead - as much as you can. Financial planning is essential: can you afford
your house after the divorce, would it make more sense to move to a different
school district or closer to your family, etc? Consult with your financial
adviser and your CPA about the tax consequences of your divorce. The majority
of the time, it is better to file taxes jointly with your husband for
the year prior to the divorce. Make arrangements and make it happen even
if you don't want to see your ex-husband or wife ever again. Be rational
and make the best financial decisions possible.
â¢2. Reach out to your friends and family. The larger your
support system is, the easier things will be for you. Make sure you have
people who can pick up your kids in case of emergency and are authorized
to do so without additional correspondence with the school. Line up babysitters
and have their numbers on speed dial in case you need help and your usual
sitter is not available. Make friends with other parents in your kids'
school -maybe you can carpool and take turns picking up and dropping off
â¢3. Find a support group in your area. They are free and can
help tremendously. You will meet diverse individuals from different background
with different perspectives. Remember, that you are not the first person
on this planet to get a divorce, even if it feels like that. I hear a
lot of good things from my clients about Visions Anew support groups -
they have different locations throughout the Atlanta area, and they use
professionals to lead support sessions. Visions Anew have both women's
and men's support groups.
â¢4. Do not suffer from anxiety and depression in silence.
Go to therapy and talk to a specialist. Going to therapy does not mean
that you are crazy and do not deserve primary custody. Professional therapy
sessions will help you come up with a plan of action to address your emotional
issues during divorce. It is especially helpful if you feel like you cannot
discuss all aspects of your divorce with your friends and family. Some
people think that if they do not have health insurance and cannot go to
the in-network therapy specialists, therapy is not an option. Fortunately,
there are a number of places that provide a quality therapy for free or
at a very low costs. The ASPIRE Clinic at McPhaul Center (UGA) has a great
reputation and provides holistic counseling at a very low cost.
â¢5. Exercise, eat right, and drink more water.
Taking care of yourself is your investment that cannot be split by the settlement agreement. Now
is the best time to join that neighborhood ALTA team or sign up for a
5K race. It will take your mind off everything that is going on and make
you look good!
â¢6. Find an experienced family lawyer to help you navigate
through the legal issues. Follow his or her advice and do not procrastinate
no matter how painful it is. Not answering discovery responses or not
showing up to hearings can potentially cost you opposing party's attorney's
fees and can irreperably hurt your case.
So, keep calm and carry on with your divorce. I hope this helps.