I was pondering the power of divorce the other day. You don’t normally think of divorce as powerful, but consider the changes that it makes in people’s lives. The former spouses are forced to leave what was their home to find new places to live. The belongings that they brought into the marriage are either gone or worn from use and not as nice as they were. The items that the couple bought or received as gifts have to be divided up or sold. Debt that was once paid from two incomes in now paid from one and all of the other shared expenses are now the responsibility of a single paycheck. And, of course, if there are children, the impact on them and their parents and extended family and their friends expands out like a ripple across a pond when a stone drops into it. It goes in all directions at once and never seems to stop.
Divorce is a powerful thing, no doubt. I was reading an article in HuffPost by Tom Sturges called Truths of Being a Divorced Dad and he had some great advice for Dads who are either: recently separated, divorcing or divorced, but are still troubled by the effects of it. Back in the old days, they would have called this “salt of the earth” advice, because it’s well based and sensible. Sturges is asking the Dads to take a step back from the battle and gain some perspective and, then, set some priorities. He thinks that bringing the “war” to an end is important, because as soon as the wounds of battle heal, life can begin anew. Sturges, also, emphasizes taking care of yourself and those whom you love the most, your children. The late comedian Jack Benny, was known to say, “We never talk about divorce in our house. Murder, yes, but divorce, never!” You may dislike your ex-wife intensely, but she is still the mother of your children and what you say, consciously or unconsciously, has an impact on their relationship with her. So, Sturges cautions you to be careful in choosing your words. After you drop the kids off, I am sure that there’s a bartender not very from your home that is eager to hear all about what a horrible person she is (so long as you tip well).
Sturges has some good ideas and since I am a practicing divorce lawyer, I am always interested in hearing about your solutions to the power of divorce. As a lawyer, my job is to not only represent my client, but to do what is in the best interest of the parties, the children and the court. We all have limited time and resources. Maybe you have some ideas about how divorcing couples can use them better. Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.