The Hammer Comes Down on Divorce

Don’t hurt your feelings!

Coping with emotions during a divorce — be careful when making life-altering decisions while vulnerable.

By Linda Hammerschmid

This article was previously published in WesountMag.ca

There are so many factors involved in the demise of a marriage or union, not least of which is the emotional factor.

Solutions. Some seem elusive, others are self-evident. I believe that if we can put men on the moon, surely we can engineer a divorce or separation properly, or can we?

Emotions can be wonderful, but in a family-law situation they can be debilitating, for others, vengeful. Neither will accomplish much for your future happiness. Marshalling this factor will allow you to deal with all the other aspects that make up the divorce process. In fact, it is imperative that you do.

A while ago on CJAD radio, while I was talking about tips and survival guides on navigating the divorce process, I was referred to a post by Jackie Pilossoph in The Huffington Post on May 28, 2013. Her first tip was to avoid litigation if you want a “quick solution… to be done with your divorce” (and avoid high lawyer fees).

Well, where do I start? Aside from a slant that is obviously quite skewed against litigation and the legal profession, advocating (no pun intended) a quick solution is about the worst advice anyone can give you.


The proverbial “they” say divorce, loss of employment and death are tops among situations that can devastate a person—so why on earth would you want to make decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life, while in such a vulnerable condition?

Divorce, loss of employment and death are tops among situations that can devastate a person — so why on earth would you want to make decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life, while in such a vulnerable condition?

The short answer is you wouldn’t.

You need to cope with the way you react to the decision or news of a divorce. You may need therapy to get you through it, so get some! You may need medication to get up over the hump, so see your health specialist and do it! You may need to scream, so go to the airport and yell at some planes! You may need to get spiritual guidance, so go to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple or cemetery, and sit in the quiet and reflect in the surroundings.

Whatever helps you, whatever is not violent against your family or yourself or illegal, do it. Only then will you be able to handle the various steps needed to continue down the divorce autoroute.

The second article I was referred to during the radio show was from the Regina Leader Post, an excerpt from Dr. Barbara Dydyk’s divorce advice book entitled Happily Never After?, which is a guide for women in the throes of separation or divorce. Immediately, my back is up because, at the present time, the majority of divorcing women are married to men. So why limit a guide to only half of an equation? But at least Dr. Dydyk’s advice, concerning what she thinks the top five mistakes women make, lists as number one “Don’t hurry the process.” This is good advice for both men and women.

So now you know why I am weary and leery of tip/guide books. These are two articles giving diametrically opposite views on a primary issue. Who to believe? Well me, of course!

Before bidding you all adieu, I would like to take this opportunity to implore you to take extra care this summer if you have a backyard pool. Two summers ago, at least seven children drowned in pools—drownings that all could have been easily avoided if the children had not been left alone or unsupervised. So if you know people with pools, just give them a friendly reminder to be extra careful. Maybe it will save a life. It only takes seconds for disaster to occur, and no phone call, cleaning, TV program, cooking or any other activity, is worth a child’s life.

I wish you all a safe and happy summer.

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

Image: Edvard Munch, Separation — Wikipedia Commons

linda hammerschmid
Me Linda Hammerschmid is an attorney and has been practicing Family Law since 1982. She is the Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates at 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290. She is a founding and current member, and past Secretary (28 years) of The Family Law Association of Quebec. She is a frequent guest on CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD, providing commentary on Family Law. You can also hear her regularly on the CJAD show “Passion” with Dr. Laurie Betito, the last Thursday of each month. She and her dog Mac are members of Therapeutic Paws giving joy to the less fortunate. Me Hammerschmid can be reached at (514) 846-1013 or by e-mail at <hammerschmid@vif.com>. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.

There are no comments

Add yours