Most people understand that divorce is an emotional and unsettling experience, but many people do not understand that it is so difficult that even experienced judges and lawyers who go through the process themselves personally can have a very difficult time of it.
Early in my career, I remember being in chambers with a Family Court judge when another judge came in.
As I stood to leave, the second judge said, "No, Steve, stay. I want you to hear this, too."
The second judge said to the first judge, "Bob, you know, you and I are Family Court judges. Every day we put on our black robes and go out into our courtrooms and we listen to people say the damnedest things.
We then go back into our private chambers and we snicker sometimes about some of the crazy things that people say and do to each other.
Bob, there is something that I haven't told you: my wife and I are having problems. We are headed for a separation and perhaps divorce after that.
And last night we found ourselves arguing over who is going to get to keep the loveseat in the living room!"
The second judge concluded by saying, "Bob, we have no idea what these people are going through until we go through it ourselves."
Similarly, I know matrimonial lawyers who have been divorced themselves who have done serious damage to their reputations before the Court by the way that they have personally behaved while Family Court litigants.
Divorce is very hard. Even seasoned Family Court judges and experienced matrimonial lawyers who think that they have "heard it all" and that they "get it" really don't get a true sense of the emotional devastation that divorce can cause until they have had personal experience with this very difficult issue.
How can you try to make your divorce easier? If you are going through a divorce now and it seems like one of the most difficult things that you have ever experienced, that is normal.
Relax. Take a deep breath.
Try to remain on good speaking terms with your spouse.
Understand that your spouse and your children are going through a difficult and life-changing experience also.
And make sure that you are being guided by a very good divorce lawyer.