How to Emotionally Recover from the Unique Challenges of a Same-Sex Divorce
In spite of the victories that the LGBT community has enjoyed in recent years, the legal landscape for same-sex couples is still changing. It can be difficult for same-sex couples to navigate the process of divorce, both from a legal and emotional standpoint. How can you hold on to that winning mindset and steel yourself for the changes ahead? Consider these tips for a healthier outlook.
1) Honor Your Personal Values
Whether you’re approaching divorce through mediation, litigation, or collaborative divorce, it’s safe to expect a healthy dose of conflict—whether it’s inner conflict or disagreements with your ex-spouse. It’s essential to know your personal values and to consider how they may be tested over the course of your divorce. If family and children are important to you, for example, then you should be prepared to make any compromises that benefit your kids while upholding your right to care for them as a parent.
2) Now is the Time to Focus on YOUR Interests and Goals
With your personal values in mind, you should decide on the divorce issues that matter most to you. When it seems like there are dozens of things that need your attention and they’re all coming at you all at once, you only have to focus on your goals. That’s not to say you should have tunnel vision. Just remember that this is the time to re-center yourself around what makes you, you. Your goals will keep you anchored and can keep you from feeling overwhelmed, because once you identify your goals, you can prioritize the rest accordingly.
3) Adopt a Positive Outlook
Divorce matters like property division, child custody, and alimony can often be more complicated for same-sex couples. It can be frustrating to see how the legal system fails to address the needs of the LGBT community—even more so when you experience it yourself. When the legalities of your divorce get you down, it’s important to keep your chin up. Remember that your decision to divorce is part of an effort to move forward with your life. Try your best to separate your feelings about the legal proceedings, and focus on working through your emotions about the breakup itself.
4) Create a Support Network
When you’re going through a difficult time, you must surround yourself with the family and friends who truly care about you, as well as the professionals who can truly make a difference in your divorce process. Your support network of specialists might include a financial analyst, a therapist, and a divorce coach who has experience working with same-sex couples.
However, we often tell people when they come see us to be cautious of that “Greek chorus.” After a marriage ends, the people on your side of things will invariably be biased towards you. While they mean well, these people often do not understand how the law works or the intimate details of your marriage—only you and your former spouse know what really went on (and maybe your respective lawyers). At the end of the day, we encourage our clients to embrace the things and people that remind them of what that they loved doing but didn’t do as much of during the marriage. Your support network can be an invaluable source of healing, but you also have to remember what it is that makes you who you are, and how you can reconnect with it.
The attorney that you choose to handle your divorce should have an in-depth understanding of the challenges you face as an LGBT divorcee. The family lawyers at Freed Marcroft are dedicated to serving members of the LGBT community. Our unparalleled legal counsel is designed to help you overcome the unique legal issues you’ll face as part of a divorcing same-sex couple. Contact us today to speak with a compassionate attorney who will endeavor to make your divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible.