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Posted on: 30 April 2020 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors
Helping someone through their divorce can bring hope and optimism at a time of sorrow. If you’re a friend, relative or even an employer, you may wish to lend your support.
Sometimes this can be easier said than done. Divorce cases are complex and it’s not always easy to predict how someone will react to a helping hand. You might feel apprehensive in case you do or say the wrong thing.
There is always something you can do to help. This guide will offer advice and tips on how to support someone through a divorce, from before the start of the process to after the divorce is finalised. It will teach you how to let them know you’re there for them, and how to respond to sudden emotional changes.
Don’t be alarmed if someone has mentioned to you that they are unhappy in their relationship or are considering a divorce. In most cases, sharing this information is a sign that they trust you. You have the opportunity to support this person and help them talk through their concerns and feelings.
Those going through a divorce will experience a number of changes to their daily lives. They might struggle to adapt to a new routine, especially with their mind clouded by the divorce proceedings. Supporting someone through a divorce is not only about offering emotional support, but also assisting them with small tasks. We recommend these general tips:
Always be careful of what you say when supporting someone through a divorce. Some things may be taken the wrong way, even if you say them with good intentions.
This might come across as undermining their marriage and subsequent feelings. It may also generate thoughts about their spouse getting remarried, which could make them feel even worse.
Comparing their divorce to a break-up is another way you might undermine their feelings. Divorce is a very personal experience and cannot be easily understood by anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves.
Express that their emotional needs are a priority right now. Telling them to focus on themselves will alleviate any guilt they might be feeling for not concerning themselves with you (as much as they usually might). It gives them permission to work on improving their mental health.
These four simple words offer encouragement, understanding and empowerment. It will reassure them of their strength to get through the tough times.
Each person’s response to a divorce is different; you should not adopt a one-rule policy or approach. Some employees will seek to take their mind off the divorce by immersing themselves in their work. These employees may benefit from greater control over the types of projects they work on. They may gravitate towards team projects or wish to work alone. Others might feel lethargic and could benefit from a reduced workload.
Instead of making assumptions about how an employee is feeling, try to make compassionate enquiries. In any case, communication is key, and it’s important to find solutions that work for both of you.
Just because a divorce is finished, doesn’t mean the person close to you no longer needs support. It is at this point where many people are hit with the realities of being single and require help adjusting to their new life.
A parent going through a divorce can, in many ways, be equally as devastating for the child as it is for the parents. A child at any age can be affected by the break up of their family, and younger children especially may be left with many questions about the future.
If someone mentions that their parents are going through a divorce, it’s important to offer your support.
For further advice on supporting young people through parental divorce, see the following resources:
Goodwins Family Law Solicitors provide a range of family law services, including divorce, international divorce and financial settlements. We have over 25 years’ experience in the industry and are committed to providing services with compassion and understanding. We understand that divorce is a stressful and emotional time, and our lawyers will support you throughout the process. We offer a number of resources, as well as confidential advice from industry experts.
To discover more about our services, get in touch today.
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