Remedies When a Parent Abducts a Child

One parent abducting the child in the midst of a custody battle is not as uncommon as you would think. Parental kidnapping is illegal. As logical as it may seem for the parent to just run away with the child or children, this act puts the child, and ultimately the parent, in danger. A custody dispute, no matter the turn out only harms the child, in every way. For a parent to turn to illegal means to keep the child away from the other parent teaches the child fear, fear of the other parent, fear of the judicial system – fear of the world around them.

There are remedies for the return of the child. The criminal justice system will become involved and a different custody routine will be put in place to hopefully prevent future incidences of parental kidnapping.

Law enforcement does not like intervening when it comes to family disputes, whether it is custody or domestic violence; however, in these instances it is always best to contact the police immediately. When it comes to parental abduction, federal and state laws must become involved to help safely return the child. The FBI often will become involved as sometimes the abduction involves international travel. Hiring a private investigator after you have contacted law enforcement may be a good idea as the private investigator will be able to devote his or her time solely to your case. Law enforcement unfortunately can be limited in manpower.

A parent kidnapping their child is not about having the child; it is about hurting the other parent. The child is then turned against the parent (who does not have possession) by the kidnapper parent (parental alienation). Less than 1% of 200,000 to 300,000 cases of parental abduction come with credible or even provable evidence that the child was ever in real harm or danger in the custody of the parent. Nevertheless, parents do not have the right to remove the child from the custody of the other parent.

It is important to understand, parental kidnapping only occurs when there is a current court order signed by a judge setting out who has custody, who has visitation; otherwise, one parent taking the child is not kidnapping. Parents have equal rights to the child; either parent can go wherever he or she wants, vacation, visiting relatives. If the parent removes the child from the state, won’t tell the other parent where the child is located, or denies access to the child or denies visitation to the parent, this act then becomes kidnapping, despite not having a custody order. In this situation, the parent who is denied access to the child should petition the court for an emergency custody order and a warrant for the arrest of the parent who removed the child will be issued.

Going through the proper channels to relocate, petitioning the court, notifying the other parent, a parent is not abducting his or her child. It is in the keeping of a secret, not allowing the other parent access, failing to notify the court (and parent) of the move that will bring kidnapping charges. A parent may need to move for monetary reasons, a new job, moving close to family. A judge even if the parent does move without going through a court order, may require the departing parent to produce the child but often if the move is beneficial for the child, a judge will allow it. If the move is arbitrary, is not beneficial to the child in some way, often the other parent will receive sole custody, physical and legal, and the parent who moved with the child may only receive visitation.

Custody schedules are set up by the parents and memorialized in a custody order. Failing to return the child after a scheduled visit or even failing to produce the child for a scheduled visitation with the other parent may not be considered parental kidnapping. Only when the parent interferes with the court order and would be in contempt of that order would the court step in by issuing an emergency order. Before the police will become involved in any custody dispute, the custodial parent would need to produce the custody order, duly signed by the judge.

The court, being neutral, only wants what is best for the child; that being both parents involved with the child. The court is charged with maintaining the best interest of the child and if the parents are unable to come to terms with this, a judge will likely issue a bench warrant and press for charges of kidnapping against the kidnapping parent. A child has a right to access to both parents.

Naturally, once the child is returned to the lawful custodial parent, he or she wants to prevent any further instances of kidnapping. Kidnapping the child will damage any credibility the abducting parent had with the court and the abducting parent could have his or her parental rights terminated. Any interference of parental rights, the custodial (or non-custodial) parent can seek a custody modification.

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Do Affairs Always End in Divorce?

There are many reasons having an affair will lead to a divorce; there are just as many reasons divorce will not happen just because of the affair.

Of course, if the affair continues after the affair is exposed, divorce is surely inevitable. However, whether or not the spouses reconcile or divorce may fall on the commitment to the marriage by the spouse who started the affair and the identity of the lover. The length of the marriage and age of the spouses also are instrumental whether or not it is beneficial to divorce or try to reconcile the marriage. Also, if there are children of the marriage, the spouse may want to try and make the marriage work for the sake of the children.

Once the affair is exposed, if the spouse who started the affair continues with the affair, he or she is forcing the issue of divorce. They may say the do not want the divorce but it is in their actions that is telling. Tell your husband or wife that the affair is over, but yet you continue the affair, working on your marriage seems pointless and divorce would be the next step.

You may be asking, what does the identity of the lover have to do with divorce. But ask yourself, if your husband slept with your sister, or best friend, would that make a difference than if the person were someone you didn’t know? The identity is often a crucial factor in whether or not divorce is imminent and whether it will be a bitter and costly divorce. If the person the spouse is having an affair with is a person of importance, trust is broken and humiliation ensues. Humiliation is a sure fire way to get someone angry.

So now the affair is exposed, if both parties are committed to the marriage, divorce is not inevitable. Admitting to the affair, working on the marriage, trust can be rebuilt and does no have to lead to a divorce.

The longer the marriage, the harder it is to make the decision to divorce. The divorce rate is considerably higher for short-term marriages.

The length of the affair is not the determinate factor, but generally provides an indication to the degree of anger and hurt the non-straying spouse may experience. A two-month affair may be less upsetting than a twelve-year affair.  A one-night stand, while upsetting, while still a betrayal, may be able to be worked out fairly quickly and the hurt may subside quicker for the spouse. A short-term affair, maybe less than say 3-months, still may not end the marriage. The medium-term affair that lasts longer than 3 months to sometime past a year is far more damaging to the relationship and trust issue. A long-term affair, lasting more than a year is the most damaging and the marriage is likely not to survive, at least not for long. Trust is broken, not just bent.

Divorce after an affair is more common in a younger couple than an older couple. But this is not always the case. Couples in their 50s or 60s are divorcing just as much as the younger crowd.

Often parents will try to make the marriage work for the sake of the children. However, even when the children are grown and out of the house, if the parents divorce due to the affair, the child feels lied to by the parents. Parents may believe it is in the best interest to stay together, however, in the case of an affair, if trust and respect have are not in the marriage, it would be much harder on the children for the parents to stay together.

If the straying spouse cannot break all ties with the lover, even an emotional attachment, divorce is probably in the cards. Maybe not right away, but the straying spouse will eventually go back to the lover, even just to talk. This emotional attachment is detrimental to spouses trying to work on the marriage. An affair is not always of a sexual nature; emotional affairs are just as damaging. This emotional bond between the spouse and the lover provides insight to a larger issue in the marital relationship. The straying spouse should not be getting his or her emotional needs met by someone outside the marriage.

To ensure the marriage and deter a divorce, the non-straying spouse must be able to forgive the straying spouse. Blame has no place with a couple trying to make their marriage work. The feelings of betrayal must be dealt with and subside for the marriage to survive.

The emotional bond within a marital relationship can range from two people who simply co-exist to two people who have an extremely close bond. The bond between husband and wife clearly indicates whether the marriage can survive an affair. Couples that are best friends may not be able to survive an affair, while the roommates might be able to continue to co-exist in a marital relationship. It comes down to trust, if a spouse feels betrayed, he or she may seek a divorce.

There is no doubt the marital relationship takes a hit when a spouse has an affair. How much of a hit, well that depends on whether or not the spouse can work on the issues that lead to the affair in the first place, move past the betrayal, and into a place of healing.

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Allegations of Criminality in Divorce Cases

Pleading the 5th Amendment does not always benefit when trying to defend a client and also represent the client who is going through a divorce. Sometimes, remaining silent can have a very negative effect in a divorce action and the court may take your silences as an admission.

Child custody, often agreed to between the parties takes a different path when criminal charges are pending or convictions are of record. The court will consider the likelihood of a parent who may be sent to prison when determining custody.

A parent who will likely be sent to prison will not have as strong a bond, he, or she, will be away from the child for an extended period of time. Also the parent in jail will have a harder time providing for the child, both monetarily and in terms of providing a stable home environment. Often employers or even landlords inquire about prior convictions. Even after coming out of prison, a parent may find judgments high and the court considers the parent’s moral character when deciding custody. A serious or recent conviction will likely be difficult for the parent to overcome in a custody action.

Among the biggest impact a criminal case may have on a domestic matter is that the divorce action will continue.

In a contested divorce action where there is a custody dispute, one side or the other raises allegations of child abuse. Child abuse is a criminal matter. In this instance, the party alleging child abuse must be careful. Making a false allegation, also a criminal act, of any kind, will come back to the parent making the allegation.

For example, when making a criminal accusation against an estranged spouse in a family law case, often the accuser forgets or underestimates his or her own role in the alleged crimes. Accusing one parent of selling illegal drugs exposes the parent making the allegation. How does the parent know the other parent sold illegal drugs, was that parent involved as well? The parent who makes the allegation may be charged with accessory to the crime.

If a parent suspects or has knowledge of abuse against a child, physical or sexual, the law requires an adult with this knowledge to report it to law enforcement or child protective services. Failing to report suspected child abuse is a crime and there is no exception under spousal privilege. The parent who reports criminal behavior to authorities may also be exposed to criminal prosecution for a number of issues (1) child endangerment; (2) reckless endangerment; (3) or even failure to protect the child.

Unnecessary criminal charges filed in a divorce can cost both parties. When allegations of criminal wrongdoing arise in a divorce action, early action may save time, expense, embarrassment, and possibly even a serious and life-changing criminal conviction and a negative outcome in the custody case.

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Divorce By Publication

Sometimes a spouse disappears out of carelessness, and sometimes out of spite. A spouse leaves town or state without leaving a forwarding address. In some cases, the couple lives apart for a long time without divorcing, so they drift apart. Sometimes disappearing spouses believe they can hold up an action if they cannot be personally served. But it is not so. When all else fails, a petitioner may legally notify a respondent of a divorce in a newspaper advertisement.

Divorce by publication joins the spirit and the letter of the law in a procedure that has ended the marriages of thousands of people who cannot find and serve personally a missing spouse. Service by publication insures that a party is aware of litigation pending against him or her.

Divorce by publication frees spouses who would otherwise be chained to marriages that exist in name only.

Each divorce starts when a plaintiff (or petitioner) spouse files a petition (or complaint) for divorce against a defendant (or respondent) spouse. The plaintiff spouse files in the court clerk’s office. The clerk’s office normally gives the plaintiff a summons, a legal document that puts the defendant on notice of the case. The summons requires that spouse make an appearance in the case. Courts require plaintiffs to serve the summons to ensure they have the opportunity to defend themselves. This notice is called “service of process.” It insures that no one is blindsided by litigation and a defendant has adequate time to prepare for action.

Normally the plaintiff’s attorney or a neutral third party delivers the petition and summons (“the divorce papers”) directly to the defendant by hand or mail. In all jurisdictions, the most common type of service is “personal service,” where the divorce papers go directly to the defendant. In many jurisdictions, the sheriff or constable serves the summons. Sometimes, a plaintiff spouse can deliver the divorce paperwork directly to the defendant spouse. In other cases, a plaintiff spouse or the plaintiff’s attorney hires a professional process server to deliver the paperwork to the defendant spouse.

The person who delivers the divorce papers completes an affidavit verifying that service has happened. In many cases, the defendant spouse acknowledges receipt of the summons. For the plaintiff, this eliminates the cost of a process server; for the defendant, it eliminates being served at work or in another public place. The defendant completes an acknowledgement of service form that goes back to the clerk. In addition to personal service, most jurisdictions also allow substitute service, where the defendant receives the summons at home, a place of business, or by certified mail.

When a plaintiff cannot locate a defendant, the court may allow service by publication. In this regime, the plaintiff notifies a defendant of a lawsuit by publishing a notice in a court-approved newspaper or other publication. This type of notice is called “a constructive notice.” While the defendant may not have actually received notice, (or even see it or read it) publishing information about the lawsuit publicly fulfills the notice requirement, so the lawsuit may begin. Normally service by publication results in a default judgment for the plaintiff since the defendant fails to answer the summons.

Service by publication is a last resort; courts require a plaintiff to make “a diligent effort” and exhaust all other options of service before permitting it. The plaintiff or his or her attorney submits an affidavit stating the efforts taken to locate the defendant and requesting permission for service by publication. When the court grants the request, the plaintiff submits a notice to the court-approved publication. The plaintiff pays a small fee to the publication for publishing the notice. In most states, the notice must appear a certain number of times or for a certain time period.

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Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?

Very often couples planning marriage face a moment when one asks the other, “Will you sign a prenuptial agreement?”

The decision to ask for a prenuptial agreement is based on the very real possibility that the marriage may flounder. In a way, a prenup, as it is called, is often referred to as a  prearranged divorce. Some people might think of it as parachute that you hope they never use. A prenuptial agreement, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is one “entered into by the prospective spouses prior to marriage by in consideration thereof, by it, the property and other financial rights of one or both …predetermined or secured to one or both of them or their children.”

A prenuptial agreement can be very important when a couple spins that roulette wheel of romance a second and/or a third time, when both the husband to be and the wife to be each have accumulated assets they wish to convey to adult children.

A prenup is a contract between two people — a husband and wife – by which, with reasonable limitations, they establish in advance the terms and conditions of their divorce. Without a prenup, the court divides contested property by the laws of the jurisdiction. With a prenup, the couple can in advance decide who gets what.

The prenup documents each partner’s separate property and protects it as such. Prenups are used in support of estate plans. They distinguish between marital and separate property, and document any special arrangements between the partners.

However, the prenuptial agreement must deal with financial affairs, not “personal preferences,” such as chores or schools that the children attend.

Of course, some people balk at the thought of a prenup, after all, does not love last forever even when 60 percent of second marriages capsize?

Obvious it does not.

Many family law lawyers recommend a prenuptial agreement if a party owns real estate or any part of a business, has $50,000 in assets, earns more than $100,000 a year, has more than one year’s worth of retirement benefits. A prenup should also be considered if one party plans to go on for an advanced degree.

 

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When Alcoholism Factors Into a Child Custody Dispute

Few considerations in divorce proceedings are more emotionally charged than the health, welfare and safety of the children. Courts let couples settle the terms and conditions of a divorce but will intervene if  one parent disagrees with the other regarding an assessment of drinking and the ability of safely caring  for the children.

Alcoholism is a large problem in the United States. About 14 million Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse, and one in four children under the age of 18 is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family. Some states specify alcohol abuse as a factor in determining custody, and others give the courts more discretionary power to deal with it on an individual basis.

Courts consider alcoholism seriously, not just when awarding custody arrangements but afterwards. For instance, a custodial parent wrestling with alcoholism can lose custody when the noncustodial parent proves that alcoholism makes him or her an unfit parent. Proving this can be a daunting task, but any type of police records that support such a claim are the go to resource by lawyers.

Courts in all jurisdictions consider the “best interest of a child” in a custody battle; however, often it falls to the judge to determine the exact weight that alcohol abuse plays in the decision, and thus the onus is on the judge to make a determination. In exercising discretion under the best interest standard, courts generally consider, first, the safety and welfare of the child in balance with frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

For example, in California’s codified policy reinforces legislation that the “perpetration of child abuse or domestic violence in a household were a child resides is detrimental to the child.” Drunkenness becomes a heavy consideration and makes a strong case for sole custody. However, courts consider that when a former spouse helped raise the children, custody or visitation award must consider joint parenting, and thus assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Also keep in mind that supervised visitation is always an option the court may exercise in the custody order.

In such a holding, a court might require independent corroboration, such as written reports from law enforcement agencies, medical rehabilitation facilities or other organizations providing drug and alcohol abuse.

The court can order alcohol testing so long as the court has credible and independent corroboration the accused parent is abusing alcohol or using drugs, and generally lawyers gather this evidence before the hearing and present it to the court through documents and testimony.

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When Only One Spouse Wants a Divorce

Divorce creates situations that tax the wisdom of Solomon. Judges struggle with nearly insoluble questions involving child custody and visitation, but no judge has the answer for the most common problem created by no-fault divorce: the sad reality that it takes two people to make a marriage, but only one to get divorced.

No-fault divorce works like a Doomsday machine because only the person who starts it can stop it. The party who wants out (normally called the “petitioner” or ”plaintiff”) has a right to divorce without permission of his or her spouse. Not wanting to be married to a person (which may be called “irreconcilable differences” or “irretrievable breakdown”) are grounds to end the marriage. No longer do couples have to go to war like the bad old days (the 1950s) where a spouse had to prove fault (such as adultery) in order to extract himself or herself from a marriage-gone south.

Under the law, marriage is a contract and laws protect the one who wishes to break it, not the one who wishes to continue.

In the United States today more than 80 percent of no-fault divorces are unilateral. This means that one party (normally called the “respondent” or “defendant”) objects to the divorce, yet has no say about ending the marriage. “It is easier to divorce my wife of 26 years than to fire someone I hired one week ago. The person I hire has more legal clout than my wife of 26 years. That’s wrong,” says Family Court Judge Randall Hekman.

The party who wishes to remain married has all the chances of success that Gen. Custer had at the Battle of Little Big Horn. The party has no legal recourse. He or she can drag out the action, or make it more expensive, or more unpleasant – but not stop it.

The antecedent causes for no-fault divorce reform happened when judges and divorce attorneys came to view the fault regime as a threat to the integrity of the Family Court System. Judges were tired of watching battling couples perjure themselves in order to receive a fault-based divorce. One longtime Pennsylvania judge called divorce court “liars’ club.”

Needless to say, unilateral divorce makes for great pain and suffering to the unwilling participant who often feels like he or she has tumbled head over heels into the Grand Canyon.

At the end of day, as is said, if one spouse wants out (call him or her the “dumper”) and the other spouse does not (call him or her “the dumped”), and no one changes his or her mind, there’s nothing to do but let go.

Hard as it is to accept, no one can force someone to love someone. And no one can force someone to stay married.

 

 

 

 

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Stalling a Divorce

An angry spouse may believe otherwise, but he or she cannot stall a divorce by not signing the divorce papers. The court grants the divorce. All jurisdictions now recognize no-fault grounds, so the judge signs the decree, officially terminating the marriage. Thus the filing spouse does not need his or her partner’s agreement or signature.

When one spouse wants to end a marriage, no-fault divorce makes divorce, like death and taxes, inescapable.

Despite the inevitability of a divorce, sometimes the opposing party acts in bad faith when facing an unwanted divorce. This can happen because people sometimes go over the edge when facing a divorce. Realizing they are losing someone they love or time with their children or their money, they become bitter and twisted with anger. Moreover, sometimes overzealous attorneys join in to help the party obstruct the proceedings or use the legal system to punish his or her estranged spouse. Judges call such maneuvers in bad faith.

The most common tactic is delay. Delaying the proceedings drives up the cost of the action for both sides. A party may fail to respond to the divorce petition, and then ask the court for more time. He or she may ignore requests for documentation substantiating assets, so negotiations or the trial might be delayed. Running up legal fees may not be apparent until a pattern establishes itself over time, such as motions asking a judge to address minute details or endless correspondence that cost money to answer. Stalling tactics are usually pretty obvious.

More serious forms of bad faith conduct involve secreting marital assets. Sometimes when someone plans a divorce, he or she hides an asset in advance, which makes it more difficult to detect. Once a divorce is underway, litigants and their attorneys usually try to identify and value marital property. Discovery requests can include documents that date back years. A brokerage account may be transferred long before filing for divorce, but statements going back years may reveal the transfer.

Lying about income is another form of bad faith. A spouse misrepresents income to reduce child support or eliminate alimony. Detecting this deceit may involve checking credit card records or a monthly budget. A self-employed person may siphon off cash receipts, pocketing them rather than depositing them into a business account. A divorcing spouse  may even ask an employer to withhold bonuses until the divorce is over.

Children can become proxies when parents battle over custody issues. The uninvolved parent who demands full custody may be dodging child support. It is not uncommon for a parent to allege domestic violence in an attempt to portray the other spouse as bad parent. Custody issues also drag out court actions.

In the end, bad faith stalling and delaying at best becomes a Pyrrhic victory that costs money and magnifies the pain and suffering for both spouses. Courts have other ways to deal with hiding assets, lying about income, and making false accusations.

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Conflict and Child Custody Disputes

Conflict is the most critical determining factor in children’s adjustment post-divorce, not the divorce itself or the residential parenting routine of custody.

High-conflict custody and visitation cases are often fueled by irrational emotional behavior, and children, exposed to high conflict custody conflicts, suffer tremendously because they are caught in a crossfire between two parents they love.

During the fight for custody the children are pulled from one side to the other and often results in the children feeling emotionally distant from both parents. They become isolated in a time when they need companionship more than ever. This phenomenon is called Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a concept developed by child psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner in the 1970s. Dr. Gardner reviewed the scientific and legal literature about adults alienating the affections of one adult from another. When Dr. Gardner studied cases about alienation of children from a previously loved parent, there was ample evidence that this terrible process occurred all too often.

Children rate conflict between their parents as one of most stressful aspects of divorce because conflict is associated with child maladjustment. Children in divorced families, where the parents have low levels of conflict, adjust better than children in intact families with high levels of conflict. Conflict that is hostile, aggressive, lacks a resolution, and is related to the child is more upsetting to children, but this is unfortunately often the case.

Parents often divorce after unsuccessful attempts to resolve spousal conflict, and after a divorce, much of the conflict is related to issues of custody and visitation. This is further complicated when parents express their anger at their former spouse through the issues related to the child.

Children caught in the crossfire of custody conflict appears to be the factor that most accounts for associations between parental conflict and children’s adjustment problems after divorce. Children’s psychological reactions to their parents’ divorce depend on 1) the quality of the parent-child relationship before the divorce; 2) the intensity and duration of the parental struggle; and 3) the parents’ ability to prioritize the needs of the children.

Children learn at home how to resolve conflict and how to relate to others. The more conflict there is between the divorcing parents, the longer children hold on to the notion of their parents’ reconciliation is possible. Hence, healthy, constructive conflict resolution skills and processes such as collaborative divorce or divorce mediation benefit the divorcing parents and their children during and after the divorce.

While there are many well-intended parents, divorce is a difficult and stressful process. From the point of view of the child’s development and well being, the parents’ focus is clear: maintain a focus on the child’s best interests when they are vulnerable to disappointment, confusion, anger, anxiety, and guilt.

The children of divorcing parents can overcome their parent’s separation and learn to form healthy relationships as long as their parents demonstrate constructive conflict resolution skills and create workable co-parenting schedules, responsibilities, and priorities.

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Loneliness and Divorce

Divorce loneliness is part of pain and suffering of a failed marriage. “I feel so empty and alone” is the theme and refrain that the mourners know when burying a marriage that has died. This deep aching loneliness can seem unbearable. Man or woman, the leaver or the left, adulterer or faithful partner, loneliness infiltrates the heart and soul, and it hurts.

The crushing loneliness often inundates people who find themselves single again.   A song from the past happier times, the sight of a couple walking arm in arm, the overheard conversation of loved ones greeting each other at the airport – all can trigger a suffocating loneliness.

According to the Rev. Pastor Reydon Stanford, the emotional and mental pain that often accompany divorce can be unbearable.  It is not uncommon for these types of emotional strains to lead to further destructive behaviors — substance abuse or other addictions, alternative ‘soothing relationships,’ severe depression or anxiety…and sadly, even suicide.

Divorce is one of the most internally damaging experiences a man or woman endure because it is one of the greatest losses in life that can be experienced.

Almost no one handles divorce alone.  Divorce means the loss of an intimate relationship, the loss of a life-long dream, the loss of trust, the loss of security, the loss of self-esteem and the loss of loved ones.

Many professionals as well as anyone who has personally experienced divorce agree that the “loss of a partner through divorce is worse than loss of a partner through death.”  Death ends a marriage in the natural way; divorce ends marriage in an unnatural way.  Most times when death ends a marriage, the deceased did not want to die and both spouses still love and comfort each other.  In divorce, love is lost and that knowledge haunts thoughts and emotions for many years to come.

A person can cope with the loneliness of divorce by facing it. After acknowledging the pain, he or she can wait it out, fight it, or embrace it.

Waiting it out enlists the Great Physician – Time. For many, time heals the wounds of divorce. Some experts say it can take somewhere around 3-4 years and the healing process begins immediately. The divorced do not forget about former spouses several years after separation, of course, but most of the healing work for a spouse who’s gone through a typical divorce is complete within about 3 years. Some people simply endure the loneliness they feel, and some people decide to live with it, knowing that it won’t last forever and though painful is not fatal.

For some time helps them forget just how miserable they were in the wake of the divorce and some people resolve to fight loneliness.

Grief counseling helps in dealing with loneliness. A therapist helps analyze the loneliness and understand how threatening it is. Counseling works because shared pain is half the pain, shared joy is twice the joy.

Ernest Hemingway said loneliness can be very productive. Some people turn to volunteer work at a homeless shelter or visiting people in a nursing home. There are any number of other places to use the free time of divorce in a useful way.

Very little about divorce is good, but it does offer the chance to embrace loneliness, which can be a life changing discovery. A healing person can learn to make a friend of himself or herself through the battle in dealing with loneliness.

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