Divorce is rough. It’s an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Just getting to the point where a couple decides that divorce is the only solution left is often devastating. After the dust settles, and the divorce is completely finalized, both parties are usually ready to move on with their lives. Often, and unfortunately, I see that family members refuse to let the past go. Here is an example of that situation and how it has a negative effect on everyone involved:
Doug and Joanne were married for nearly 20 years. They had 2 beautiful children. Over the years, their families spent time at BBQ cookouts, picnics and other gatherings. When the children were nearly through high school, Doug and Joanne grew tired of constantly arguing and gave up on their marriage. They agreed their marriage was over and worked through the separation and divorce. It was upsetting and emotional for them as well as the children.
Doug moved into a condo in the city closer to his job. Joanne kept the home and the children stayed with her to remain in the school district. Visitation was never a problem and everyone in the family got a long very well. Everyone, that is, except Doug’s family.
Joanne had begun to date. Doug’s family could not accept seeing her with someone else and began a slow and methodical process of destroying the friendly relationship between Joanne and Doug. It began with rumors and suspicions about what Joanne “must” have been doing during their marriage. It spilled over at family get togethers in front of the children. They began to ask questions of their parents and demand answers about divorce and infidelity.
Time and again, Joanne and Doug asked both of their families to move on and let them deal with their divorce. Time and again, Doug reminded his family that it was HIS divorce and not theirs. But his family could not accept that their lives were interrupted by this new change of events.
What could Doug and Joanne have done differently? Hindsight is always 20/20 but one of the things I see regularly is that couples tend to complain to their families during the end of the marriage and early stages of the divorce. Those complaints are sometimes nothing more than emotional rants but it creates a wedge between loved ones and the soon-to-be spouse.
To avoid these types of situations, it’s best to confide in your attorney through the process. If you and your spouse are working amicably through the divorce proceedings, continue to talk to your lawyers without divulging details to outsiders, even family members who may have the best intentions.
If you are considering a separation or divorce, contact me here and we can set up a call or office visit to discuss what works best for you.