As a divorce attorney, all of my clients have urgent questions they need answered:
“Am I going to be able to see my kids?”
“How much money am I going to get from my husband or wife?”
“Are we going to have to sell the house?”
“How much of my retirement is going to be left?”
“How am I supposed to live with what’s left?”
A large part of my job is patiently and deliberately answering all of these questions for divorcing couples. It took a few years for me to realize all of these questions are really, at their core, the same question.
“Am I going to be OK?”
At their heart, all of these questions get back to the simple need for reassurance. People beginning a divorce are about to embark on the most nerve-wracking experience they will ever have. For people going through the worst periods of their life, reassurance and comfort are the only thing on the menu they really want to order. They don’t always know exactly what they are asking for, or what they really mean. But make no mistake, that’s what everyone really wants to know.
It’s completely understandable. Aside from the death of a family member, divorce is the worst thing you will go through in your life. The severing of your closest relationship, combined with the adversarial process of the court system, is a situation tailor-made for fear. Your best friend is rejecting you. Your finances are about to change dramatically. Your assets and plans for the future are about to be utterly transformed. You have every right to feel this way. It would be strange if you didn’t.
But that’s about to end. The first step in ending your fear is to realize what fear is. Fear is anxiety about the future (the unknown).) You’re adrift on a boat in the middle of a rough sea. You don’t know where you are, where you’re going, or how to operate the boat. You are completely out of your element. You don’t even know what you don’t know.
The second step in ending your fear is to realize fear has a fatal weakness. Fear can’t live in an information-rich environment. The good news is, the more information you have and the more you understand the possibilities, the less anxiety you will have. It’s hard to be afraid of something when you completely understand it, know the pros and cons of it, and have a good handle on the entire range of possibilities.
That’s where I come in.
The third and final step in ending your fear is me. We will work together to answer all of your questions (asked and unasked), discuss potential strategies, go over the best-case and worst-case scenarios for each, and develop a game plan for multiple scenarios that could occur. I will give you the information you need to consider all of your options, weigh the strengths and potential weaknesses of each and make the best decision you can. Together, we will prepare you for different possible outcomes and how to adapt to each.
You are going to be OK.
You don’t have to be afraid anymore. Together we will kick fear out of the equation and send it to where it belongs—behind you. With my help, you are going to get through this and emerge on the other side stronger than you were before. If you’re considering a divorce, or just starting one, please reach out to me and set up a time to go over your case. Call me today and together we’ll kick ‘fear’ to the curb.
Joseph F. Emmerth