Advice to Give To A Friend Going Through Divorce
What Advice Should I Give to A Friend Who Is Going Through A Divorce?
In my experience when most people are facing a divorce they are in a place where they have been bottling up different feelings and emotions for months or even years.
When things reach a boiling point, one natural reaction for people in this position is to reach out to friends, co-workers, or clergy for the purpose of discussing what they are going through.
There are a few friendly bits of advice that should be a part of this conversation as much as possible in order to keep them on the right track.
1. Think about marriage counseling.
Many times, sitting down with a really good marriage counselor can stop the divorce process from going any further.
There are many great therapists, both religious and non-religious, who can offer tools and perspectives that can turn these situations around before they go too far.
The biggest obstacle here though is that both spouses must want to save the marriage. If one of them is completely checked out of the relationship, then this option becomes an exercise in futility. Therefore, it is important to get into therapy early.
2. Talk to a divorce attorney.
The biggest enemy for most people facing divorce is procrastination. This is possibly the number one reason that we see divorce cases become more complex than they needed to be.
Whether it is about the cost, wanting to avoid stress, or just old-fashioned denial, people will avoid calling a divorce lawyer as long as they can, and this is usually to their detriment.
If therapy is not an option, then they need to educate themselves on the very complicated legal process that divorce consists of and there is no substitute for advice from a good divorce attorney.
Many issues related to child custody, assets, and alimony are affected by timing and strategy and if the other spouse has already received good legal advice then they could be working to improve their court case and hurting yours without you knowing it.
3. Know where your money is located.
Is all your money in a joint account that the other spouse could easily withdraw leaving you with nothing?
Though a good lawyer can file a motion to freeze accounts and take other actions to get the money back, nothing can add stress like trying to find a good divorce lawyer with zero dollars to pay them with.
As long as you are aware of what accounts your money sits in it will allow you to know if the other spouse has removed any of it and will allow you to act quickly if your lawyer tells you to withdraw half at any point.
4. Protect the kids.
It is way too common for divorcing couples to carelessly engage their spouse in horrible arguments and verbal fighting in front of the kids.
Not only is this terrible for kids of any age, but the judge will not be happy to hear that you did not act to shield the children from this type of stress.
Ideally, the kids will not even realize that you are about to get divorced and that all fighting would take place out of their presence.
Remember: it is against the law for anyone who is not a lawyer to give legal advice so don’t go too far in how you advise your friends going through these types of situations. Just make sure they call a good divorce attorney if marriage counseling is not an option for them.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.