Whether it’s the result of a civilized mutual decision or an acrimonious battle that has been years in the making, divorce can be devastating to all parties involved. Simply put, divorce is one of life’s most stressful events, affecting practical matters like parenting, finances and credit. It also can affect one’s self-esteem, core beliefs and hope for the future.
What to expect emotionally
If you are preparing for a divorce, emotional support should be a necessary component to consider in your planning process.
Even if you are the moving party and you are ready to leave the relationship, divorce is still a loss. You should expect to experience some level of grief if not for the loss of the relationship itself, perhaps for the loss of what you had hoped it might be.
Grief is expressed in many ways. In addition to sadness, there is often guilt, anger, depression and even compulsive or self-harming behaviors. Often people in the midst of a divorce feel isolated. You may even experience fear of disappointing family and friends.
How to get emotional support
As you prepare for the divorce process, be sure to take steps early on to identify resources to assist with emotional support. It may be difficult to reach out for help when you feel overwhelmed with the many decisions, procedures and paperwork you will likely face. If you have children, consider their needs for emotional support as well.
Here are a few tips for finding the emotional support you need throughout the divorce process:
• Plan ahead. Choose two or three close friends or family members you trust to be available to you. Be sure to be selective since loyalties do change during divorce. It is best not to confide in too many people. Share what you feel comfortable sharing about what is going on, and ask if you can check in with them at agreed-upon times or call/visit when you are feeling the need for support. Be clear about what you need from them: someone to listen, someone to help watch the children on late work nights, etc. By making arrangements with a few people, you avoid over-burdening any one person, and you can divide up tasks with which you need help.
• Hire an experienced family law attorney. Your divorce attorney will be an important resource for you during the divorce process. Knowing that your legal matters are being handled by an experienced divorce attorney will certainly decrease the level of stress you experience throughout the process. An experienced divorce lawyer has the knowledge, capability and connections to offer you the precise legal guidance you need.
• Find a support group. Many community centers and churches offer free support groups for those who are going through divorce. Support groups usually offer the opportunity to share your thoughts, ask questions and benefit from learning about others’ experiences. The National Family Resiliency Center provides excellent resources for families going through divorce.
• Talk with a counselor. Counseling services are now covered under many medical insurance plans, and most communities offer free or low-cost services for the uninsured. A professional counselor not only can provide emotional support, but can help you to sort out your thoughts and feelings when facing difficult decisions.
• Finally, avoid venting on social media, at work or in other social situations. This may be tempting when you are feeling stressed or angry, but remember: you have no control over who ultimately sees or shares the details of your private life that you have shared. Times have changed in divorce litigation. What you share on social media or email is out there and can generally be saved, printed, and/or retrieved. Be sure to stay off the social media ride if you are in contested litigation!
If you would like more information about divorce or other topics related to family law, please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz, Offit Kurman, P.A., at (301) 575-0381 to schedule a consultation.
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 120 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eight offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia markets, as well as the Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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