When a friend is going through a divorce, it can be hard to watch. Not only is it often a stressful time, but an expensive one. They’re dealing with a separation of their spouse and possibly their children, depending on who gets custody. It may be difficult to know exactly how to show your support for them during this time; and how to comfort them may seem impossible, but there are ways in which you can be there for them when their life seems to be falling apart. Whether that’s helping them with everyday activities like getting them dinner or doing their laundry, simply just listening, or helping them choose a lawyer, there are plenty of ways to help your friend in trying times such as a divorce.
Help them with everyday activities
It may seem small, but helping your friend with their everyday chores can be a big help. First, if they need to find a new residence, you can help them move out. Moving their things out can be an emotional process for them as they will have to go through all the possessions that they most likely shared with their former spouse. If you’re there, helping them put clothes into boxes, and asking what should be thrown away, it can be a relief to them, especially if you’re providing distraction as well such as mindless chatter or perhaps offering an old movie, fun podcast, or upbeat music to draw their mind away from painful memories.
Another thing you can do is offer to do their laundry or make them dinner. With the stress of divorce on their mind, doing everyday tasks and errands can seem like an insurmountable goal. If you help them with these little things, it’ll make their life that much easier during this period in their life when everything else seems in shambles. You may even find yourself filling in for their partner by doing the things their partner would have normally done like watching their children or picking up groceries. Doing this for them may help them to remember that while they have lost their spouse, they’re not alone. They have a partner in you.
Talking and listening
While it’s important to talk with your friend about what’s going on, it is equally important to simply listen to them and their needs. It may be tempting to trash their ex since they seem to be the one who is putting your friend through all this hardship and pain, but you should try and resist from chiming in one way or another about them. Your friend may be feeling many different things about their former spouse, good and bad. One day they may be waxing sadly about all the good aspects they miss about their ex, and the next they may be spewing all sorts of bile. If you voice your thoughts about them, one way or another, your friend may be less willing to open up to you if their feelings change. It’s best to simply let your friend talk about their ex themselves, and to support them in how they feel without voicing your own thoughts about them.
Sometimes, your friend may not wish to talk much at all, but it’s still good to check in on them once in a while rather than leaving them to stew in their silence. Everyone copes with grief in different ways, and perhaps your friend wishes to keep quiet on their divorce more than talk about it. If that’s the case, then don’t pressure them for details, and don’t push them to open up about how they’re feeling during this tough time in their lives. Simply remind them that you are there for them should they wish to get anything off their chest. If you wish to talk to them still, perhaps avoid the discussion of their divorce, and instead send them a funny meme, or chat about something completely different as a distraction for them.
One of the most important things you can do is to ask them what they need from you. Clear communication is critical in any relationship, including a simple friendship. Ask them if they enjoyed the meal you prepared for them the night before or if the groceries you got were suitable. Let them know that no matter how they feel about your efforts, that you will not be hurt or offended by what they say. After all, you’re doing all these things to help them, so you want to make sure that what you’re doing is actually helping them.
Suggest a divorce lawyer
Perhaps the most important pragmatic thing you can do for them is to help them seek out trustworthy legal representation. It may not be as much of a heart-to-heart experience, but it can certainly take a load off of their metaphorical shoulders. The divorce process can be a messy and complicated one, and knowing all the laws involved with a divorce is a lot to ask of someone going through such a confusing process. Working with a Charlotte divorce attorney that can sort out things is the best way to handle a divorce, at least in the legal sense. Spousal support, child custody, and property division are just a few things a lawyer can take care of for them, making sure they get everything they can without missing anything that a normal, lay person might forget to include.
Getting a divorce isn’t fun, and it isn’t easy, even when both parties are agreed that it is best. It’s a hard and complicated process – emotionally, financially, and practically. However, the support of a good friend can make it easier on someone who might be going through it. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk or listening to them vent about how they hate their ex one day, then love them the next, there are several ways you can help someone who is struggling with their divorce.
If you know someone who needs an experienced and dedicated attorney, suggest the Epperson Law Group, PLLC. We can work to negotiate a divorce agreement that works best for them, and help to make this process as painless as possible. To reserve a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers in Charlotte, Concord, Boone, and Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.