I truly believe that there is no life event which is more emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually draining than a divorce. When you got married, you knew with every fiber of your being that you would be together forever. You’ve given everything you have to your spouse and your children, and now you feel like the single most important thing in your life is failing. That is a miserable, heart-breaking, defeating feeling which brings many to the point of giving up. If you think that getting a divorce will immediately fix that feeling, you’re kidding yourself.
This is one of the first things that I tell prospective clients when we meet for a consultation. It is important to me that you be aware that divorce is not a quick fix for all of the issues in your life. A Louisiana divorce takes either 180 days or 360 days by law depending on whether or not there are minor children of the marriage. Realistically when accounting for court delays and procedural delays it can take up to 14 months from the filing of the Petition through the Final Judgment of Divorce, and that time is going to be the one of the most difficult times of your life. Knowing and believing this ahead of time gives you several options:
- WORK ON YOUR MARRIAGE – I’m not suggesting that you just go home and put your head down and grin and bear it…that will serve nothing but to perpetuate the cycle that you are currently suffering through. Have a real talk with your spouse about what’s going on and what you are feeling. Ask your spouse to pray with you about the issues facing your marriage, and you lead the prayer so that it becomes clear to you and to your spouse what your concerns are. As uncomfortable as this sounds, what do you really have to lose? If you’re already contemplating divorce, then it can’t get any worse. Utilize one or more of the thousands of marriage resources available to help you through difficult times. Our website is currently being updated to provide links to internet resources, books, in-person programs, marriage retreats, support lines, and local marriage counselors. Until the update is complete, send us a request for information through our online submission form at the bottom of our website and we will send you as much information as we can, free of charge.
- FIND YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK – Whether you choose to try to reclaim your marriage, or you find yourself at a point beyond reconciling, you shouldn’t try to continue forward alone. Tap into your network of family and friends, especially those who have struggled with their own marriage or faced their own divorce. We were not created to face life alone and it is important that we take advantage of the people God has put in our lives to be our support system.
- HIRE A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY YOU TRULY TRUST – If you’ve tried the first two options and you’re still determined that a civil divorce is necessary to protect your legal rights, the care of your children, or your property, then you should speak to a qualified family law attorney. Speak to several attorneys if you have to, until you find the one who you can tell understands what you are going through and is going to help you through this difficult time. It is important that you are completely comfortable that the person in whom you are placing your trust will advocate for you with dignity and respect, avoiding unnecessary conflict and helping you to survive the next year of your life with a greater sense of peace.
The absolute most important thing that you can do regardless of where you are in your marriage or in your life, is to place your trust in God and to know that He will lead you in the right direction.
Written By: Sean Corcoran – Lake Charles, Louisiana Family Law Attorney