There’s been a lot of talk about the new Star Wars movie in the last few weeks. Those familiar with the franchise know that there’s a powerful, universal energy in this world called “The Force,” and the advice given from the Jedi Masters who are training up-and-coming Jedi is to “trust your feelings.” But they also advise against tapping into feelings of fear, which can lead to anger, and hate, and destructive behavior aligned with what’s called “the Dark Side.”
There’s a lesson to be learned here for couples going through separation or divorce. Emotions can be very powerful, and if they’re based in fear, can lead them to do things that we wouldn’t do in our right minds. When a person goes through divorce, there’s a lot of fear involved: A fear of change, a fear of having less stability, a fear of weathering the future alone, financial fears and fears about “losing” children. Many people who go through divorce, with time and with understanding, recover and even achieve happiness. But when people first determine or learn that they’re to be divorced, it can be an incredibly difficult thing to process initially.
Therefore, my first advice to someone going through divorce is simply to breathe. Deep breaths can do wonders to help with the more extreme emotions you’ll feel in the divorce process. As overwhelming as emotions can feel, they all pass, and breathing through the emotions you feel can help you from acting on them.
It’s important to not act out of emotion – and this is where a good family lawyer comes into play. When I’m representing a client, I first find out what’s most important to that client, and then I work toward a solution that achieves that. I do so from a place of reason rather than emotion. If you’re going through divorce, you should definitely see a therapist to help you through the emotions, and keep in mind that your lawyer is there to guide you toward a solution that’s not clouded with emotion.
Also, when you’re seeking a family lawyer, make sure it’s someone who will settle your case the way you’d like to settle it. I’m a family lawyer who has participated in litigation but no longer offer litigation to my clients. Instead, I help my clients to settle their cases through mediation, Collaborative law, or by other means of settlement negotiations.
Divorce is by no means an easy process – but by remembering to keep the emotion out of your divorce process, or at least find a place for it that keeps it from your legal affairs, you’ll have a much easier time with it.