Articles Posted in Disparaging Remarks

I am by no means a licensed mental health professional, psychologist or psychiatrist; however if you have been a follower of my blog regarding divorce, child custody, or any family law issue you know that I constantly write about the psychological tolls that the cases take on my clients.  This is because I witness every day the psychological struggles that my clients go through.   Divorce is hard on everyone involved, no matter how you slice it.  Many people hear this, but do not actually understand until they are in the trenches.  However, it is so important to understand, for your mental and physical health, before you are in the trenches that this will be a difficult process and have a list of coping mechanisms to help you through it.

So many people fall into the trap of bitterness, anger and resentment and cannot get past those emotions.    While I will agree that your feelings are legitimate, you also need to work through those feelings so that you can get to the other side and feel a release.  Many people hang on, even after the divorce is finalized.  I have seen what this does to people, and I do not wish it on anyone.  Getting past that anger is not an easy feat, but one that is beyond necessary.

Also, divorce is difficult because it bring change—the familiarity is no longer there, you have to move, your holidays are not the same, you lose a pet, you have to split the time with the children, etc.  Change is so hard and I will be the first to admit that I hate it.  But, change is a part of life; in fact, life is about seasons and weathering those seasons.  How will you weather in a mentally healthy way?

You may be just beginning your divorce case or you may be in the middle.  Regardless of your current position, there are certain tips that will make this painful process much smoother in the grand scheme of things.  In fact, if you would follow these ten easy tips, you would be worlds ahead of other people going through divorces.

  1. Stress management.  There are a couple of ways our clients are able to work through the stress that occurs with a divorce; here are a couple of my recommendations: Research and find a counselor with whom you are comfortable.  I know, I know—most people hate the word “counseling” and feel as though it would not help them. But, so many of our clients attend counseling and I am amazed at the way they are able to process as we go through the divorce.  It does not matter if it is a pastor, licensed counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or a free clinic; you just need to talk to someone.  The emotional toll of the divorce can be so taxing and many people need help with coping; this includes you.  OR if you are not ready to take the counseling step, get out and exercise.  Or even better, you can do both.  Go for a walk with a friend, join a gym, or attend a fitness class that interests you.  Start a fitness routine and it will give you something to look forward to.  And remember what Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
  2. Keep off of social media.  I cannot stress enough—do not post anything on any social media account about your soon to be ex, their paramour, the children, the case, etc.   While it may feel good at the time, it will only hurt you in the long run.  All judges frown upon it and it will make the case harder than it already is.

You get your children back from your ex’s house after their visitation and they are openly telling you all about the divorce case, what your ex has called you and where you should go, etc.  You are appalled and upset that your children know anything about your case.  You call your ex and tell them that this is inappropriate to discuss with the children and they completely dismiss you.  You know that the judge clearly said that neither you nor your ex could discuss anything about the case with your children.

While the damage has already been done with your children with what they have overheard or discussed so far with your ex, there are some helpful requests that you could make to deter this type of behavior.  For starters, as long as your orders do not contain anything requiring an agreement before enrolling the children in counseling then you should do so.  Having a professional who can meet with the children, give them an outlet for their emotions as to the divorce, and help them process the effects of the divorce is such a positive movement forward when this type of situation arises.  If the professional meets with you and discusses any concerns with respect to what they are reporting about your ex, then their testimony can be used in a court hearing.

Additionally, if you do decide to pursue a contempt hearing against your ex for violating a court order (discussing the case with the children and making disparaging remarks about you), then you will need proof of such.  If your children are 10 or older most judges will talk with them and the children can tell the judge themselves what they have overheard or what they have been told.  If your children are too young or are too afraid to be put in the middle, then this would be where a professional’s testimony would be helpful.