The role of friendships during a divorce

Having your friends around you during your divorce is vital. You will need people to let off steam with, to support you and to remind you that things will get better.

However, not all support from well-meaning friends can be a positive thing. Every divorce lawyer will be able to tell you stories about clients who had a divorce influenced by misinformed friends. Many clients also report that new friendships formed by their spouse appear to be damaging the case.

When going through a divorce it is necessary to learn the difference between someone supporting and someone interfering. A divorce is a very personal process and there is no way that another person can know everything that is going on. Your divorce lawyer will tell you that no two cases are the same and therefore legal advice from friends, even if they have been through a similar divorce, should never be taken as gospel.

Firstly, be very careful who you confide in. It is ok to tell friends, new and old, that you are going through a divorce, but you don’t want to be the subject of gossip for months to come. Save the details for one or two people that you trust implicitly not to tell anyone else and who will not use your personal affairs as a good story at a dinner party. This can happen.

Divorce can be a lonely time, but use time with friends as a means to escape from your divorce. Rather than keeping everyone you know updated, do things that are completely unrelated and use your social life as a way to rebuild your life. When you need to rant to someone about your ex partner, choose a family member or a very close friend who will understand your need for privacy.

It is natural for people to want to bring a friend along to meetings with your lawyer, but recommended that the person does not come into the meetings, but waits for you instead. Having a third party in the meeting can be distracting for you and the lawyer. If you want a friend to support you with the advice you have been given then you can tell them what has happened straight after the meeting, while it is fresh in your mind. Your lawyer may want to ask you questions that you could feel uncomfortable discussing in front of someone else.

Your friends will help you a lot during your divorce, but ensure they respect your privacy. Your best friends will let you go at your own pace and be there for you. Anyone who wants to force information from you or tries to influence how you think may have ulterior motives and more people than you wish could end up knowing about your private life.

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