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Six Things to Know about Divorce

1. It's going to hurt.

This is true no matter if you are the instigating party or not. The end of what was meant to be a permanent relationship is second on the stress-rating Holmes and Rahe scale after "death of a spouse." Whether or not you want the divorce, you are going to experience emotions that may at times be debilitating. In some instances, the tension may escalate into violence. People who would never think they are capable of violence in reality are. Pain and loneliness will make most people do almost anything.

2. Your weight will likely change.

Affectionately called the "divorce diet" at our firm, this inability to eat combined with the stress of the situation can result in quick and unintended weight loss. During my divorce year, I rapidly lost 50 pounds ... in the first three months. A little less often, people may gain weight due to stress eating. It's my observation, though, that weight loss is more likely than gain or even stability.

3. It's not free or even cheap.

The work of separating lives is not cheap, especially when there is a lot to separate. Finances are only a part of the process; how to handle parenting is a whole other story. Some of our couples navigate rather smoothly; others fight, and the more they fight, the more it costs.

4. It's not a quick process.

Our firm does not handle only one case; we have many cases we are working on. Other firms are the same. Additionally, as much as we may want to, we cannot force others to do what we want. We may be waiting on our clients; we may be waiting on opposing counsel. You may be eager to finalize, but that doesn't mean the other side is too.

5. There's a good chance that you will be in some sort of accident or some weird illness will happen.

This is very much related to #1 above. The emotional pain lowers immunity, clouds thinking and generally messes with your mind. I've seen clients suffer everything from odd mouth infections to broken limbs to heart attacks to automobile accidents. Me? I had major surgery and a serious car accident and an OVI. All in less than one year during the divorce.

6. Your divorce will affect many more people than you ever imagined.

Your children, your parents. Your siblings, your nephews and nieces. Your aunts and uncles and cousins. All of these people know you and your spouse, but very few will know and understand the real story of your married life. Most will be surprised, but some may see it coming. You will likely lose friends that decide they cannot continue to be your friend. Sometimes, family members "choose" too. And it may not be you they choose.

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