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What kind of support system is needed during a divorce?

A divorce is not something that you want to go through alone. There are times in a divorce that will test your patience and your emotional resolve. Ending a relationship, learning how to co-parent, and dividing your child's time between two parents are just a few of the many difficulties that come with a divorce case. Thinking about these challenges is daunting. You may have been pondering whether to even begin a divorce despite the obstacles and difficulties that a case like this can bring to your life now and in the future. 

If you have been considering divorce for some time but have not considered the importance of having a support system to walk with you during this case, then you are making a mistake. Whether you acknowledge the reality or not, none of us indeed get to where we are without the help of other people. Whether that is in our careers, our family life, or whatever else we are involved in each of us has supported people during our lives. I bet you can close your eyes and think of a handful of those people right now. In big or small ways, we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and those who currently support us and our endeavors. 

There is nothing wrong with having pride in your ability to care for yourself and "take care of business." If we are being honest with ourselves then we would say that it is more likely a characteristic of men that we would want to be the lone wolf in our times of tribulation compared to women. For all the men out there, I am here to tell you that we need just as much support when going through a divorce as do women- and possibly more so. You may be surprised to find out just how much of your worth and self-identity you have tied up in your marriage. A divorce can put you in a position where you are having to re-evaluate yourself and your place in the world. 

Today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is going to focus on how you can identify the type of support system that you need to get through a divorce. You will read blog posts on our website where we talk about how each divorce is different. That is true. It's just as true that the support system that you need for your case and your life is different than what your neighbor or best friend would need. Your job is to identify the type of divorce support system that you need and then do your best to learn about who in your life can fill that void. At the same time, any relationship worth having is one built on mutual trust and a need for both sides. Even during a tough divorce, you cannot expect that a person or group of people will be willing to act as your support system with no benefit being provided by you. It’s important to remember that to have friends you must be a friend- even when it’s not a fun time in your life. 

People that you can trust

Going through a divorce can make you feel like the whole world is out to get you. Your spouse is working to end your relationship after you had thought that he or she was the one person that you could trust. The things that you had thought were true or a certain way have now turned out to be the opposite of what you believed. Can you even trust yourself? You’re meeting with attorneys who talk a good game, but we've all heard stories about untrustworthy lawyers. Where can you turn to a support system during a time like this that you can trust?

You probably won’t be able to find a support system for your divorce once the case has started if you do not already have the groundwork in place. For instance, do you have friends and family who have walked beside you through tough times before? Maybe you’ve been contemplating divorce before, and your brother sat with you one weekend to talk about his experience with divorce and what you could do to avoid getting divorced. Do you have a co-worker who is always good for a conversation or lunch away from the office to talk through things? These are the sort of trustworthy people that you will need to have built up around you before the divorce already beginning. You need to have laid the groundwork for a divorce support system before the case starts. 

Trust is based on an understanding that the person across from you wants what is best for you just like you want what is best for them. In some places, this is also called love. If you can trust a person, then you are willing to consider what he or she is doing for you in the best possible light. If someone started to talk to you about your divorce whom you had never met before you may smile and say thank you for the perspective that the person shared, but you would be unwilling to put into practice what that person had talked to you about. Why is that? I think it has mainly to do with the reality that if we don’t know a person then he or she has not had an opportunity to build up credibility in our eyes. What the person had to say to you about your divorce may have been the greatest piece of advice that you possibly could have encountered at that moment but because that person has no credibility in your eyes you would be unlikely to truly consider their advice. In other words- you don’t trust him or her. 

The people in your life that you trust the most are the ones whose perspectives you are most likely to build into the framework of how you handle your divorce. This is true even if the person provides you with some advice or information that may be contrary to what you want to hear at that moment. You will figure out quickly how much you trust a person when he or she provides you with some advice or perspective that you disagree with. That perspective may even be critical of you. Nobody likes to hear things about us that are negative. Even the humblest among us would prefer to hear good things rather than bad things said about us. If our support system tells us something that doesn't necessarily align with our worldview, then it is time for us to take a step back and consider what the person has to say. This is especially true if we trust that person as much as we say that we do.

At the end of the day, the level of trust that you have in someone or a group of people will be put to the test during a trying time like a divorce. When do you say that you trust someone is it only when that person is telling you things that you agree with or is it all the time no matter the circumstances? Trust isn't something that you can turn on and off for a person depending on the situation that you find yourself in. Rather, when you trust someone, you do so unconditionally. If you have people in your life that you trust or even just one person, then you are at a huge advantage when it comes to your divorce. 

People that you can ask things of without hesitation

The circumstances of a divorce are such that you are going to be put into situations that are outside of your normal routine. Certainly, this is true of your home life. If you and your spouse do not have children, then you will still need to figure out a living situation for the duration of your divorce. You may decide to live together for as long as the divorce persists to save money. This could be true if you and your spouse simply do not have the resources available to you to afford an apartment and pay your current rent or mortgage. Even if you end up staying in the same home together the feel of the home and how you live together will invariably be different. One or both of you may do your best to avoid being at home to limit the times that you will have to be together with a person that you are going through a divorce.

If you and your spouse do have children together then the changes to your life will be even more profound. Not only will you need to be able to figure out your living situation, but you will also need to figure out how to divide up the kid's time with each of you. This starts with determining where the children are going to live on a full-time basis. Much of the time the default setting for a couple with children is that the kids will live with their mother. However, that does not need to be the case. To any father who is reading this blog post, you should realize that it is not a given that your wife is going to be named as the parent who has the primary conservatorship of the kids. Contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan if you have any questions about this.

Otherwise, you will need to figure out how to divide up time with the children until you can get temporary orders that set up a formal visitation/living structure. On a relational, familial, and emotional level this is probably going to be the most difficult part of the divorce for you and your spouse. You are used to being able to see your children whenever you would like, and those moments usually happen in your home. Now you face the prospect of having to move out of your home and share time with your children. That is not an easy pill to swallow. For many parents, this is enough to take you out of any sort of routine that you had and put you in a position where you feel like you are scrambling for the duration of your divorce. 

Things change in a divorce. You may think that you were going to see your children on a specific weekend and then that weekend moves to accommodate you, your spouse, or the needs of your children. In that case, you must have someone in your life who is willing to work with you to move your schedule around or even offer a place to stay temporarily. If you have people in your life who will make sacrifices for you and then will ask little in return that is the group that you need to lean on for your divorce. For example, do you have a relative like a parent or a sibling who can pick kids up from school or perform other small jobs for you if you need it? This is a great advantage to have during a divorce.

In some situations, you may even need a relative to be available for you to substitute for your periods of possession with your children. Military members who are living overseas are not able to take advantage of their periods of possession during a divorce. It's not like you can fly the kids over to wherever you are at the moment. With that said, you can work with your Texas family law attorney to allow for a relative to act in your fill-in while you are overseas. That person, typically a parent of yours, can take possession of the kids during your periods of possession until you return home to Texas and can have time with the kids yourself. 

Legal support

When you need support in the context of a family law case, we have mostly been talking about people in your personal life who can fill a certain need for you and your family during this difficult period undoubtedly, these people are important to you and your family now and will continue to be important to your family into the future. None of us can predict with complete confidence where our lives will be over the next five, 10, or 15 years. These people are going to be your long-term support system now and into the future regardless of the activities or needs of your family. You need to be able to foster a relationship with this group of people so that you have someone to rely upon during the next crisis or time of need.

However, when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of a difficult divorce case one thing that you need to keep in mind is that having an experienced family law attorney by your side to assist you in whatever endeavor you are facing can be even more important. For all the support that a good support system can provide to you outside of the legal context of a family law case, you need to make sure that someone is available to assist you and your family in a circumstance involving the law. Because divorce is such a specialized matter, you need someone who has a specific set of skills and knowledge base to be able to walk alongside you. This is where a family law attorney can be invaluable to you.

An experienced family law attorney knows how to file a divorce, negotiate a divorce and if necessary, proceed into the courtroom and help you win a divorce. Hiring an experienced family law attorney is a short-term investment into your long-term future. I can think of no better way to put this relationship into context. the money that you spend on an attorney may be painful at this moment but depending upon the results of your family law case it can be the best money that you have ever spent. consider your needs in those of your family in the context of your divorce. If you have children who are under the age of 18 or any amount of Community property that needs to be divided it can be worth it to hire an attorney to represent you and your interests moving forward.

A good family law attorney goes the extra mile for their client. If we understand that there are emotional, financial, and familial concerns within a divorce an experienced attorney can help you manage all three of these areas while fighting for you every step of the way.

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case

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