Transition or metamorphosis is the passage from one state, subject, or place to the next. Going through a divorce is a life transition for everyone involved. Clients are moving from a state of conflict where they were questioning many things in their lives to a state of transition which will lead, hopefully, to a life with less conflict, more stability, and greater happiness.
The transition process often starts before a party has even decided on divorce. Clients often report when they seek the advice of a divorce attorney, that there was a shift in their relationship with their spouse sometime years earlier, which they may not have fully understood then, but which had a profound effect on the family. Life’s passages may not always lead directly to divorce; many clients seek counseling for themselves or together with their spouse to try to understand what is happening, why they feel a “sea change” in their relationship, and how to improve and maintain that relationship. Some parties may stay together, but others begin to say the word “Divorce.”
We have seen in our office, all types of people going through divorce, or experiencing other family law problems, in “metamorphosis”. Clients experiencing conflict, sadness and anxiety may have many complex – and at times confusing – feelings about how they are going to transition through divorce. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Every wall is a door.” Divorce clients don’t always know what is on the other side of the wall, but they know they have to find the door to the other side, and as part of their divorce walk through that door to their new life.
Piercing through that barrier is no easy task; the process of divorce can take up to a year for some couples. It forces participants to think about these transitions and do some serious soul-searching. Hopefully, as things begin to fall into place, the parties will transition from those feelings of sadness, conflict and anxiety to feeling more empowered to make positive changes in their lives, and those of their family.
Once the dust settles and the papers are signed, a newly divorced couple must then face the task of making their post-divorce lives work. This can be challenging, especially if they have children. A good family law attorney will have a professional network of experienced professionals to recommend to clients, from life coaches to psychologists to advisors or other professionals, contacts that may be useful not just during the divorce process, but also post-divorce.
I have personally witnessed the effects of half-realized or poorly planned transitions in divorces, and when those happen parties are more likely to continue to have conflict post-divorce or end up in court – which runs contrary to most people’s goal of finding more lasting resolutions and staying out of court. There are many resources for clients to help them with the transitions that come with divorce and clients should not hesitate to ask their attorney for help in achieving legal solutions that will stand the test of time.