How To Keep Emotions Out Of Divorce Family Law Toronto

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Gary Direnfeld

How To Keep Emotions Out And Focus On The Issues In A Divorce

A parent opens up their lawyer’s bill. Shock. An amount never anticipated. Emotions are a part of every separation. That is normal. However, if you use your lawyer as your therapist or if your lawyer has to help you reign in your emotions to better manage your case, there will be a price to pay for their time, and just to add, lawyers aren’t therapists.

This issue is not dismissing or minimizing one’s feelings, but finding the right place to discuss them and learning how to manage them so they don’t intrude and inadvertently undermine your separation process.

Common emotions seen during a separation/divorce process include fear, anger and sadness. They may occur all at once or in various combinations and intensities. All are reasonable to the circumstances, yet all can contribute to a more difficult process.

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Fear is often related to how one will get through the process, financial security now and in the future, and for the care of and relationship to one’s children. For some, this fear can be paralyzing and for others, it can lead to seeking a speedy resolution when it actually may require more time.

Anger is often felt towards one’s partner and the situation. There may have been past harms and/or one may not have wanted the separation in the first place. Hence one targets the other for the current troubles. In anger one may seek revenge either through the settlement or by frustrating the other by dragging out the process.

Sadness can relate to the loss of the relationship. In grief some folks may find it difficult to move forward. This too can prolong a process.

Speaking to a counsellor or therapist can help people review their emotions and even find strategies to better mange them.

Those strategies may include learning to see and acknowledge those feeling as they are occurring to thus allow oneself to make choices in the moment for self-management (this is called mindfulness), meditation (learning to calm oneself), techniques for communicating and expressing oneself more reasonably when under duress and/or using other comfort strategies to cope in the moment.

Therapists will charge a fraction of the price of your lawyer. You may also have employee benefits to cover the cost and your physician may have counseling available through their office as part of your medical coverage.

Emotions are real.

They are normal, yet may intrude on the separation process in a way that makes it more difficult. See the counsellor for counselling and your lawyer for lawyering.

When each does the job for which they are trained, you do better at less cost.

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