What to Divorce When You are Divorcing: Borrowing Trouble

A woman, whom I shall call Mrs. What If hired me to represent her in her divorce action. She had been married fifteen years, she and her husband had two kids. Their daughter was eleven and their son was eight. She was a nurse and her husband worked as an admission counselor at the local university. The split-up appeared amicable. Her husband moved out of the marital house and into a rental property they owned.

The only real issue appeared to be custody of kids. She said he was a good father but traveled extensively with his job. She was the primary caretaker during the marriage and she wanted primary custody once the divorce was finalized.

After she finished sharing the facts of her case, I assured her she had a good chance of getting what she wanted. Instead of being encouraged by my assessment, she started borrowing trouble.

She asked, What if he decides to fight for full custody of the kids?
I replied, What if he doesn’t?

She asked, What if he persuades the kids to come live with him?

I replied, What if he doesn’t?

She asked, What if he refuses to pay child support?,

I replied, What if he doesn’t?

She asked, What if he decides to bring up stuff that happened before we got married?

I replied, What if he doesn’t?

We went back and forth like this for a few minutes, and then I explained that my goal was not to be annoying by responding to her questions with a question. My point was to show her there is no point in borrowing trouble by focusing on potential problems until and unless they actually materialize. I used this example to further clarify my point: Imagine you are going on a weeklong vacation to the Bahamas. Because your attire will consist primarily of tee-shirts, shorts and swimsuits you are able to pack everything you need into one suitcase which you can easily manage.

But, before you leave for the airport you ask yourself what if it snows? And instead of trusting you will find a way to keep warm if by some remote chance snow falls on the normally tropical island, you decide to pull out another suitcase and fill it will long pants, thermal underwear, sweaters and snow boots. And now you have two suitcases which weigh more than you can comfortably carry.
You have the strength you need to bear the troubles you have. It is the borrowed troubles that will weigh you down and hinder your effort to move forward.

Photo Credit: Twentymindsomething via Visual Hunt

Posted in What to Divorce When You Are Divorcing.

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