Our team at Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC has been representing parties in family law cases for a long time. The one thing we can say for sure is that while divorce law in Maryland applies the same for everyone, every divorce is unique. There are, however, a few general things that can be said about the divorce process and the effect it has on those involved. If you are new to the process, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. There seem to be many things that no one tells you before you end your marriage.
- Divorce will not end the problems you have with your spouse. Divorce is not a magic wand that waves your troubles away and leaves you with a clean slate. When your divorce is final, you will no longer be married under the law – that is all. Any other unresolved personal issues you have with your spouse will remain until you address them. Divorce is just the severing of a legal contract that you shared with your spouse.
- Divorce will bring up many unexpected emotions. Even if you initiated the divorce and you cannot wait to be “free,” be prepared to feel some degree of grief, sadness and loss. Depending on the nature of your relationship and the level of conflict, you may also feel a significant amount of anger and harbor thoughts of revenge. Just keep in mind that all of these feelings are valid and they are part of the process. It might be helpful to find someone that you trust to talk about your feelings as you move through the divorce. Talking about what you are feeling helps you to process your thoughts and emotions, and might make you less likely to act on the ones that could only cause problems later.
- Make an effort to be present through every step in the divorce process. Yes, it will be painful, and at times it may be embarrassing, but squeezing your eyes shut and wishing for the time to pass quickly will not serve you well. Work with your attorney to prepare all of your documentation, and face those difficult decisions that you might have been putting off, because many of the choices you make now will have an impact on the rest of your life.
- Divorce can bring valuable lessons. Maybe you are getting a divorce because you can see now that you married for the wrong reason, or maybe you thought you were truly in love with this person, but you cannot seem to hold the relationship together any longer. You can learn a lot about yourself by looking at your past decisions and how they have had an impact in your life thus far. Taking the time to observe and reflect on those lessons will make you much less likely to repeat them in the future.
- Holidays and family celebrations will be tough. Dropping your children off to be with your ex for the holidays will never be easy, but the first time will be the hardest to deal with. The first time you encounter your former spouse at your child’s birthday party with their new paramour might make you want to turn around and go home. Believe it or not, as time goes by, these kinds of encounters will be easier to bear. You will have built a life apart from your former spouse, and you may even be able to be happy for them when you see that they have moved on as well. Having children together forever binds you with your ex to some degree. Being prepared for the initial awkwardness, and knowing that it will also pass might help you to get through the early days after your divorce.
- Your relationships with your kids will change. You may think of your spouse as “the one who must not be named,” but to your children that person is their parent whom they love. Little comments that you might have made off-the-cuff while you were married can stir the pot now that you are divorced. Keep things as civil as possible and help your children to preserve their relationship with their other parent. Child custody battles can get ugly, but the more you can keep your child out of the fray, the better adjusted they will be to all of the upheaval the divorce is causing in their life.
- You need time to yourself. Divorce is an arduous process, which can exhaust you physically and emotionally. Do not neglect the other relationships in your life while you are slogging it out with your spouse. Book a spa day, or gather your friends and take hike in the hills. Schedule in time for activities that will take your mind off of the conflict, give you space to recover, and find some enjoyment as you contemplate what life will be like when the divorce is final.
If you are contemplating divorce in Maryland, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right divorce attorney. Regardless of the level of complexity of your divorce, our skilled divorce lawyers at Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC will represent your interests and fight for the best outcome possible. We take the time to listen to your concerns and then we present you with the best legal options given the circumstances of your case. If you are thinking about divorce, you are welcome to contact our firm to reserve a consultation time in our Annapolis office.