You’re in the middle of a divorce, or a custody battle, or anything that lands you in court against a person you loved and planned to spend the rest of your life with at one point. This sucks!
You never expected to be in this position and likely have not ever experienced anything like this before. It’s terrifying and nerve wracking and devastating. But you will get through it.
Court day always makes my stomach feel like someone is wringing it out like an old dish rag and then trying to pull it out through my rear end. My air way gets tight and I feel like I may throw up or pass out at any given minute that whole day. In fact, just thinking about it is making me feel like I need to run to the bathroom.
Unfortunately throughout my divorce process, I went to court more times than I planned or expected. Along the way, I realized there are a few things that help this asinine process feel slightly more tolerable.
So if you are facing a court date for your divorce or anything related to it, here are just a few simple and hopefully helpful hints from me to you to help you survive like the warrior you are.
1. Try to get some sleep.
It’s going to be very hard to sleep when your thoughts are racing 100 miles a minute and your entire life and the lives of your children are flashing before your eyes. But you’re going to have to do your best. Going into court either head bobbing from sleep deprivation or too exhausted to fight is not going to bode well for you. So rest up buttercup. You’re going to need it.
2. Take a shower.
Showers are often hard to come by as a parent. They’re also hard to accomplish when you are overloaded with stress, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, and angst about your life. But you will feel better and the people around you will appreciate it if you don’t walk into court smelling as bad as you probably feel. A clean body can really carry a person far, I’ve discovered. So give yourself the time to shower that morning and know that even if everything in your life is a complete and total mess, at least your body isn’t.
3. Wear good underwear.
Even though no one else will see them (hopefully), you’ll know they’re good and it will give you an extra boost of self confidence. It’s like knowing you’ve got chocolate in your purse, or whatever makes men feel awesome, no one else knows about. It can just give you that extra boost you need.
4. Dress well.
Wear something that gives you strength and makes you feel brave, secure and confident. Mostly, be sure you are comfortable and not going to fall on your face or split your pants. But also, make sure it’s equal parts classy and flattering so that your ex-partner remembers what they lost and so that you remember to believe in yourself. Divorce has a way of beating a person down; but there’s just something about a good outfit that can help you stand a little stronger and taller. It’s the little things.
5. Wear good shoes.
Power heels…classy wing tips…or whatever makes you feel confident and strong. Even though your insides may be quivering, you can do things to look brave and strong on the outside, which may eventually sink into your insides. Sometimes, court day is just about fake it till you make it; and great shoes can help keep you in stride.
6. Eat carefully.
…Because you may see it again through one end or the other. ‘Nuff said.
7. Take the elevator.
I’m a stairs person, but court day is not the day. Breathing that whole day is going to be difficult enough as it is. You don’t need the stairs trying to kill you off before you ever make it into the court room. I learned that one the hard way.
8. Remind yourself to breathe.
Whether you took the stairs or the elevator, there will be moments throughout the day that you’ll feel like all the air in your lungs was just sucked out by an emotional vortex. Your stomach will knot up and you may feel like it’s going to fall out through your butt at any minute. Heck, it might actually do it. (See point 6). Just breathe.
9. Pray and Trust.
Trust and know that things will work out for you and your children’s good regardless of how it goes. Remind yourself that God already knows the result and He’s in control-because as you likely know by now, or will soon find out, so much about how things go when done in court are completely out of your control. Toss it up and have faith. It’s all going to be okay even if it feels like all your worst nightmares are coming true.
10. Maintain respect as much as possible.
It’s easy to view your almost ex-spouse as the enemy; and in many cases, they very well may be. Nevertheless, try to remember that regardless of what brought you here, you loved each other at one point. Or at least there was something strong enough between you to bond you for life through marriage and/or children. You only have control over your own emotions and behaviors. So for the sake of your heart and your children’s hearts, as much as possible, try to maintain some level of respect and decency. Fight appropriately. Be a warrior, but try not to destroy each other any more than you already have.
Divorce is one of the most excruciating experiences a person can endure. No matter who initiated it or what lead to it, it’s painful and it rocks a person to their core.
If you can stay out of court, more power to you. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. Court is awful, but these little things did make a big difference for me. I hope you never experience this, but if you do or you are currently, I hope some of this helps.