When going through a divorce, people can fly through a range of emotions. It is important that they have a support system in place to help them. Many litigants often seek out professional therapists, however, many also lean on immediate family, like Mom, Dad, their sister, brother, or best friend. These are great people to have in a time of need, but these are also people that you need to set boundaries with. Yes, when people get married it is often said “you’re marrying the family,” but the whole family is not divorcing your spouse, you are.
Your family will want to help, they may even assist financially with legal fees, but this does not mean that are then entitled to know every detail of the divorce, or even to contact your attorney to discuss the case. Perhaps you were in a marriage where you were very much “out of control,” and your spouse handled everything, it may seem natural to now let your supporters take that role, but you must remember that you are in control now. This is an opportunity for you to take back some power and make decisions for yourself and your family. If you have relatives that want to help that is great! Find ways they can help without giving them an opportunity to meddle or muddy the divorce waters. Ask them to babysit so you can get a little “me time” after a rough day in court. Ask them out to lunch so you can decompress (and vent if necessary), but if and when they start with “Well you know what I should do” or if they start bashing your spouse, set the boundary and cease the conversation. Bashing your spouse will only cause you to roll back through emotions of anger and resentment, and while you move your divorce forward, you also want to move yourself forward by letting those feelings go and gaining your control back.
Lastly, when it comes to your divorce, listen to your attorney. We are here to be your biggest advocate, to make you comfortable, to help you navigate this stage of your life and to debunk whatever your “sister’s neighbor’ friend’s uncle’s cousin” said you should do.