Divorce is a death not only of a legal relationship, but also of the high hopes, emotions, and expectations both people had going into the marriage. It is one of the most traumatic life changing events any of us will ever experience and may permanently scar our perceptions and attitudes if we do not act consciously in the divorce process.
Dr. Phil discusses the emotions that many of us experience when engaged in the divorce process. Unchecked motions will not only cause us to think irrationally, they will tend to fuel litigation that will cost you unlimited amounts of cash and will almost certainly permanently damage your relationship with your family. The divorce will end the marriage, but the family will continue.
- Early Meditation: As opposed to early “mediation”, meditation, early and often, will help to release many of the destructive emotions that cause us to act like nuts in a divorce case. The benefits of meditation in understanding our emotional energy have long been recognized. When we regularly sit in calm contemplation, we learn that much of what troubles us emotionally is merely a figment of our mind and does not exist in reality. There are many sources of meditation instruction, and one of the best places I have found for assistance is the Monroe Institute for Applied Sciences in Faber Virginia.
- Therapy, therapy, therapy. Go early and often at the start of your divorce case. It is not unusual for people to work with a therapist as often as 2x per week when beginning a divorce. This will be a good complement to your daily meditation practice. Your therapist will help you deal with your emotional responses to the litigation and reinforce the new found inner peace that you have cultivated in your mediation practice.
- Get the data: You need to be fully informed as to all legal aspects of your divorce. The South Carolina Bar has many resources available for consumers to learn about the basics of divorce law. Also, use Google and read the blogs of other divorce lawyers in your city. Once you have a basic understanding of divorce law, you will then be able to communicate on an even footing with your divorce lawyer.
- Monitor your lawyer. Your divorce lawyer has an inherent conflict of interest in representing you. It is called “billable hours”. As long as you are writing checks, your lawyer will bill the legal fees. But remember that this is your divorce, not your lawyer’s divorce. In many cases, your lawyer is simply making money as a result of your personal tragedy. It does not have to be like this. Meet with your lawyer and agree upon a specific course of legal action, in writing, that meet your goals. With a daily meditation practice that is reinforced with your therapy and a basic understanding of the law, you will have a clear mind with which to listen to your lawyer, ask meaningful questions, and then choose a course of action that meets your goals, not the lawyers monthly billing goals.
If you take these four steps, I can assure you that you will make calm, well reasoned decisions in your divorce case that will keep your legal fees to a minimum and preserve a healthy relationship with your family members. Remember, divorce only ends your marriage, the family will continue. The manner in which you choose to proceed through the divorce can permanently affect your relationship with the members of your family, for better or worse.