You are a mom or a dad, you were happily married, but definitely not a marathon runner. We’re here to tell you that if you are reading this blog, you started your marathon, or you may be starting your marathon soon.
Not only are you running a marathon, you are going to do so without any training!
A divorce or custody dispute is like a marathon run because 1) it takes experience (fortunately, you can use our experience because well, no one is an experienced ‘divorcer’; 2) your adrenaline level will be up for extended periods of times; and 3) all those people on the sidelines can only encourage you; they are not your coach and if they try to be, they only get in your way.
We know enough about running to tell you that running a 5k without training is difficult; running a marathon without training is pretty much impossible. So why would you run a marathon without training? Because you have no choice.
We’d like to talk about the people standing on the sidelines.
You are going to need the fans on this marathon run. Someone should tell you “you’ve got this!” Someone needs to listen when you lose your life partner. Someone needs to answer the phone at 11:00 PM when you struggled all alone with sick children.
But those fans on the sidelines sometimes have done some running themselves: in other words, they have experienced a divorce or separation. And they want to give you advice. Sure, they have the best of intentions. But those fans on the sidelines are in no position to tell you what to do during your run. And if you listen to them when they tell you to speed up or slow down, you may end up with some very ugly results.
Similarly, you’ll get in trouble when your friends and family tell you that “I didn’t have to pay spousal support, you should fight that!” or “my judge didn’t require me to ….” Think about it: your friend has experience with only his or her own divorce: a different judge, a different financial situation and maybe a different court system. Your attorney’s experience is based on hundreds of cases, years of experience, and hundreds of fact scenarios.
My guess is that you can figure out which advice is more solid? So, let friends be friends. They are not your legal advisors. Use your time with friends to get their emotional support. They usually are really good at that; they have a much better shoulder to cry on than your attorney’s!