"I'm afraid of not having enough time with my kids."
"I'm frightened about the posssibility of not having enough money to pay my bills."
"I'm scared to death about how my spouse's mental health issues may affect my kids."
"I'm petrified of the risk that my kids will bear by my spouse's ongoing substance abuse issues."
"My spouse is a terrible role model, and even if I have custody, I am greatly concerned about the negative influence that my spouse will have on our children."
Marriage didn't start out with so many fears at first, and most people tell me that they were at one time very much in love.
There was a beautiful, special wedding.
Married life was exciting in their first home, often a rental.
Then came the first pregnancy and the wonders of preparing for childbirth.
Then one child, followed by more children.
And then a house. Summers at the beach. Preschool costs. New, fancier cars.
A nicer, more expensive house. New furniture as the kids grew. Summer camp.
And the expenses go on and on because living in New Jersey is expensive.
As life got more expensive, it also got more complicated, leading to stress.
The stress did not end and it grew, ultimately becoming overwhelming stress.
This lead to some "self help" coping mechanisms, like lying or drinking too much or drugs or fighting or cheating.
Whatever your journey with your spouse has been, I am guessing that you are at this website because although your marriage started out much better, now you have reached a breaking point.
Now, the two of you are sleeping in separate bedrooms, there is limited communication between you, and the communication that does exist includes calling each other unhelpful names, like "bi-polar," "narcissist," "obsessive," and "control freak."
Your goal had been to patch things up. And so you have given it your all. You wanted to keep your life and the lives of your children intact. You didn't want a divorce.
So you tried marriage counseling, but it didn't do much help. Your spouse continued to blame you for everything that's wrong with the marriage, while accepting no responsibility.
Ultimately, you realized that you cannot fix your marriage alone, and your spouse does not seem to have any interest in trying to work things out.
You've decided That You're Done. Now What?
You know that a divorce may be coming, and you have some fears.
Most significantly, you want to find out how to best protect your kids, your assets, and your income.
You don't want to fight. You just want to be fair.
But you're not so sure how fair your spouse will be to you, and you fear that you may be taken advantage of.
You are concerned about money issues and over issues with the children. You feel that your spouse is irresponsible.
In particular, you are wondering what the future might hold for you. There is uncertainty regarding:
- How you can maintain significant child custody rights?
- How you can protect yourself if your spouse is trying to hide money?
- How you can make sure that you can survive financially?
- Whether alimony and child support will actually be set at reasonable levels?
- Whether you will receive a fair share of the retirement accounts, the savings, and the house?
Thoughts of being alone again, of returning to the dating scene, and of being a single parent are adding to your already over-burdened mind.
It has become hard for you to sleep.
You are tired much of the time as a result.
I understand the many fears that people who are facing the possibility of a divorce must confront and ultimately conquer (or at least manage successfully.)
There are limits to how much control you alone can exert over someone who is about to become your former spouse, yet your spouse may need some strict limits in order for your kids to be protected.
This reality can make you feel powerless and upset, and can make you start considering whether you may need a judge to help you.
Every day for the past 32 years I have worked with divorcing men and women in New Jersey who had fears that were similar to your fears.
Then every night I would go home to a step-family environment where some of the same concerns were experienced. (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT "MY STORY")
When a new client choses to not go to marriage counseling but instead retains me for a divorce, I start by helping that new client strategize to protect what matters most to them: usually their relationship with their kids, their share of the marital assets, and their share of money that will be earned in the future.
FOUR THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO HELP MANAGE YOUR FEARS.
Here are 4 ideas that will help you take your focus off of your fear of getting divorced, and instead put your focus on learning about your options to confront and resolve (or at least manage) those fears:
First, you can CLICK HERE to read my articles about virtually any divorce-related topic that you would like to learn more about. This knowledge that these easy-to-read articles will give you is the best way to conquer any divorce related fears.
These 85 articles are organized in 13 online lessons that you can review in any order that you wish.
Second, there is a "Search Topics" button at the top of this page and at the top of each page of this website. You can use it to search this entire website for what you are looking for.
Third, if you'd like to meet with me personally, call me at (732) 845-9010 or SEND ME AN EMAIL BY CLICKING HERE. We'll get you in quickly for a detailed "Divorce Analysis Session" with me, where you and I will carefully go over the facts of YOUR case, your particular fears, and we will discuss how Judges tend to resolve those particular issues.
Fourth, if you become fearful of "what if" this or "what if" that related to your divorce, remember to just slow down and take a deep breath. "Divorce by the yard is hard, but divorce by the inch is a cinch" is my favorite saying.
Take one thing at a time.
"Divorce by the inch is a cinch."
You can do this.