Who did you choose to confide in first as you started the divorce process?
Often times, it’s those closest to us- friends or family members whom we turn to right away with questions about what we should do, who to consult with and what steps to take first.
Although it’s beneficial to start building a support system as soon as possible during this challenging time of incredible emotional and financial stress during divorce, there are 3 things to keep in mind when it comes to relying on divorce guidance from friends and relatives.
1. Those closest to us often have their own agenda when it comes to giving out divorce advice.
Since separation and divorce are times of emotional overwhelm and confusion, it’s hard to know if advice you are given has been filtered through the lens of their specific intentions rather than truly imparted to you with thoughtful consideration about what would be most beneficial to you over the long run.
For instance, if your dad never thought your husband was good enough for you, he may urge you to forget about mediation and pursue him through the court system as long as possible.
2. What worked best for your friends or family members during divorce may not be the right path for you.
Does your mom advise you that you should stay with your husband no matter what bad behaviors he continues to dish out? Does your best friend encourage you to start seeing a new man now to make your husband jealous during the time that you are separated?
When we’re not sure what direction to take next, it can be very tempting to rely on others to make decisions for us and believe that their advice is the best way to go. By comparing our own marital situation to those who those who are closest to us, we limit the amount of possibilities and choices that are open to us and also may end up blaming those whose advice we followed.
3. Laws about separation and divorce depend heavily on what county and state you live in.
Despite your friend’s insistence that you CAN lock your cheating husband out of the house, liquefy the joint savings account or take your kids out of state, all of these actions could have legal consequences that can come back to haunt you later on.
Even if your friend or family member filed for divorce in the same county where you now live, it’s critical to get legal advice as soon as you have questions so that you understand how the unique factors of your own situation apply so that you can avoid making costly mistakes.
Since divorce cuts across so many aspects of our everyday lives: financial, spiritual, health, parenting and our work lives-our levels of stress can go down significantly when we quit relying too heavily on those around us for advice.