By Guest Blogger.
It’s over. That two week break you had from not having to worry about anything to do with anything in your case in family court. The lawyers (kind of) had a break; the judges had a break; all of you people fighting in court – you had a break too!! Right?
Yea… Just kidding.
Hypothetical scenario #1: It’s Christmas break: that means that not only do your children have time off from school, but court broke for two weeks too. Hopefully you were lucky enough to get time off of work to spend with your family, and you’ve relaxed for at least a little bit. No drama, no stress, no fighting, no court stuff that typically consumes your entire life. It was nice! (well, except for that lovely ‘Bomb Cyclone.’)
Hypothetical scenario #2: It’s Christmas break: your children have time off from school, you managed to get about a day and a half off of work. Not only did your kids get sick the day before Christmas Eve, but the day after Christmas you have become bombarded with emails, phone calls, texts, etc. from your lawyer/ supervised visiting/ mediation counselors/ ex-whatever complaining about something/ some constable trying to serve you with yet another summons. GREAT. This is exactly what you planned for!
January 2nd, here we come. Start making those phone calls, start handing over any cash you received for Christmas to your attorney, prepare yourself for your next court date which you know is going to be the same thing all over again, just like the time before, and the time before, and the time before.
(Hold on- break- BOMB CYCLONE. Court closes for an unexpected two days, completely screwing up the entire court schedule, never mind your case and your schedule. Your next date was January 3rd? Your divorce was FINALLY supposed to close that day? Sorry, bomb cyclone just pushed it back another 8 weeks – or maybe you were lucky enough to be pushed back only two days, to sit in an extremely overcrowded courtroom where every single human being in there is freezing, late, and aggravated. Did you get the 8 week re-schedule? Consider yourself lucky, and just embrace the void that is New England weather, because it’s going to be 50-something degrees this week.)
So, let’s start over. January 8, hello! Time for another day of confusion, mishap, litigating, mediating, arguing, motion-filing….
Let me just give you 2 pieces of advice.
1. Yoga. Meditation. Anything. You are in the toxic swamp and this stress isn’t going away. If and when your case ever ends, it still never leaves you. Just accept it and find a way to get through it. Follow the rules, play the game, but do something to keep some peace in your life. If not, you may end up with a brain aneurism or stressing yourself out so much you weigh less than 100 pounds. Keep yourself and your children healthy, physically and mentally. The rest: it is what it is.
2. Give your attorney a break. Seriously. As frustrated as you are, some of these attorneys are just THIS CLOSE to giving up their practice and start teaching, opening a donut shop, moving out of state and never coming back, etc. Why? Because YOUR frustration becomes THEIR frustration. They either try as hard as they can to fix whatever mess this has become, especially after a 2 week break and the 98573298 motions put in for your case alone, let alone others; or they just don’t have the time to deal with your case right now, because even though THEIR stress and frustration is maxed out, imagine everything family court judges have to deal with. Ex-whatever screwed up holiday schedule- motion. Family members have a bit too much wine on Christmas Eve, get in a fistfight, cops are called- restraining order. And on, and on, and on. Guess who gets to attempt to straighten this stuff out, and keep the judges from veins popping out of their head? That’s right, your attorney. Give them a break. Because even if you got a break over the holidays, they certainly did not.
When it comes down to it: Family Court is called the Toxic Swamp for many reasons. Being in that building is toxic to everyone involved, and you feel like your feet have been trapped in cement and you’re never making it out alive. Your only way to survive it: don’t let it consume your life. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and it is WAY easier said than done- but if you and your loved ones are safe, just breathe, and find a way to just let it be.