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Stress and Family Law


Have you ever met anyone that never got a speeding ticket? You have now. I know it’s weird, but one of the things that I’m most proud of in life is that I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket.

I have gotten two tickets, though. One was for “bump” stopping a stop sign in college at 2:00 a.m. – luckily, I was one of those kids that didn’t drink. And once for bumping the car in front of me at a stoplight. That one happened while I was in the middle of a very ugly divorce.

That was a long time ago, but I have never forgotten the feeling. The stress of being under so much stress that you are numb to how stressed you are – and you don’t realize how much you are not thinking clearly.

That’s what happened to me when I hit the car in front of me. My mind was somewhere else. A million miles away. Thinking of all of the times in my life that were no longer going to be possible. Thinking of how much I missed my two small children. Thinking about all of the what-ifs that got me to the place I was in.

And if you are going through a family law crisis, you are likely in the same spot I was in. It is very likely that you are not thinking clearly all the time. You may very well be endangering yourself or others by driving, or flying, or riding a motorcycle, or taking part in another activity that requires the part of your brain that is being occupied by all of the sad thoughts that go along with so many divorce and custody issues.

So, here’s some advice. I know you may have gotten this advice before or from others, but just in case –

1. Think about letting others drive, if you have the option, when you are in the worst depths of the sadness surrounding your divorce or custody case;

2. Get good sleep;

3. Eat right; and

4. Get some exercise – a walk every day can do wonders.

But as you are exercising – and especially while you’re operating a motor vehicle – be extra careful. Understand how much stress you are under and think about extra precautions. You don’t want to step in front of a car or injure your back while trying to do too much.

You likely will not realize how much stress you are under until it’s all over with.

And when it is, things will be better. That is almost a universal truth in family law matters – things will get better, and most of the stress will be gone. Until then, be careful.


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