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Who Gets Custody Of Your Family Friends After Divorce

Your San Bernardino divorce lawyer will help you reach a fair settlement when it comes to property division, child support and alimony, but there’s one thing he or she can’t do: divide custody of your friends.

Many people report that they lose friends during divorce. Sometimes friends feel like they have to take sides; other times, there are reasons that don’t seem to make sense on the surface. So what else causes friends to hit the road when you need them most?

Friendship by Default

In many cases, you’ll naturally end up with “custody” of the friends you had before you were married or those you made without your spouse. Friends that you made after you were married often have a tougher time; they may have a difficult time thinking of you and your ex as separate people, which may make them feel like they’re forced to choose between you. It’s very natural for friends to take sides in a divorce, even if they don’t admit it.

Desertion During Divorce

It’s fairly common for people who are going through a divorce to look around and feel like their friends have all headed for the hills. Psychologists suggest that friends distance themselves from divorcés for several reasons, including:

  • A fear, however irrational, that your divorce will be contagious
  • Uncertainty about whether they should be loyal to you or to your ex
  • Nervousness about how it will all end and whether they’ll be able to keep both of you as friends
  • A feeling of helplessness, like nothing they can do or say can fix things for you (and as a result, they do and say nothing)
  • Being too busy or too absorbed in their own problems to make room for yours

Kindling Your Friendships

If you’re like most of us, time escapes a little too quickly. Sometimes, especially during divorce, it just gets away from you. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly conducive to keeping friendships alive. Your friends need to hear from you – but remember, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Make time to talk about them and what’s going on in their lives, because neglecting their needs will almost certainly damage your friendship.

Talking to Someone Else—Besides Your Friends—About the Divorce

Many people find it helpful to talk to a counselor or therapist during divorce. In fact, many of our own clients report that it takes a huge weight off their shoulders. That can free you up to maintain your relationships with your friends and make it easier to cope with the stresses you’re under right now. If you’re not sure where to find someone to talk to, ask your divorce attorney if he or she knows a local professional who’s experienced in helping people going through separation and divorce.