Perhaps when you decided to divorce, you were fairly confident that you'd have a network of friends available who could help you navigate your emotions and other issues throughout the process. After all, most people know anywhere from three to 10 (or more) people who are divorced, right? The problem is that while close friends can indeed be sources of moral support and encouragement, there is also a lot of misinformation circulating in California and elsewhere that could complicate your situation.
It's crucial that you be able to identify a myth when you hear it regarding various aspects of divorce. For instance, you may have heard it said that those who divorce simply did not try hard enough to save their marriages. That's a myth that can do a lot of emotional harm if you buy into it. Getting your facts straight ahead of time and lining up other sources of support in addition to your friends may be a key to a swift and successful outcome.
Be on the lookout for generalizations
If you hear something you aren't sure is true when preparing to divorce, you have several choices: You can ignore it, you can believe it anyway or you can research it to determine whether it is fact or fiction. The following list includes ideas many people have promulgated regarding marital break-ups that aren't necessarily true:
- Has someone warned you that you will be messing up your kids if you and your spouse sever your marital ties? The idea that all children become dysfunctional or permanently emotionally scarred by divorce is simply not true. With the help and support of loving parents and other adults in their lives, many children are able to adjust quite well as they adapt to new lifestyles after their parents' divorce.
- Are you worried about court proceedings breaking your bank account because you've heard tell that all divorces are extremely expensive? If so, you should know this is not always the case; in fact, many spouses are able to negotiate fair and agreeable settlements in ways that do not compromise their financial stability.
- It's also not realistic to say that you have a one in two chance of getting divorced. Such information is often misguided. In fact, many people reunite with their spouses at some point after the court finalizes their divorces. Those who divorce and stay divorced likely comprise approximately 40 percent of spouses in the nation, which is significantly less than some headlines would have you believe.
Your situation is unique to you although you may have friends, loved ones or other acquaintances who share similar experiences and feelings. Remembering that just because one person thinks a certain way about divorce or faces certain obstacles along the way does not mean your experience will be the same puts you one step ahead of the game.
Legal help is as important as friendship support
Your friends may be able to offer a shoulder to lean on and company so you don't feel lonely or isolated as you navigate the divorce process, but unless they are highly skilled, experienced attorneys, they might not be able to go to bat for you in court if the need arises.
One of the first phone calls many California spouses make after deciding to divorce is to connect with a family law attorney who will remain on hand to help overcome any legal problems that may delay settlement.