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After you’ve chosen to divorce, whether or not you’ve visited a Richmond Hill divorce lawyer, you’re faced with another problem: who gets custody of your friends? Naturally, your individual friends belong to you—but what about friends you share as a couple? Will they be torn between you and your ex, or will they gravitate toward one of you… and is there anything you can do about it?

Taking Inventory of Your Friendships

There’s a difference between friends and acquaintances. You can expect your friends to stick around during your divorce, whether you’re going through a rough patch or experiencing smooth sailing. Your real friends will support you from the moment you tell them you’re looking for a Richmond Hill divorce lawyer.

Leaving acquaintances out of the equation, you’ll probably find that you can classify most of your friends into three categories: those you had pre-marriage, those you acquired during the marriage as a couple, and those you acquired during the marriage on your own. Generally, the friends you need to worry about are those you made together, as a couple.

Cutting Ties with Friends

The good news: during your divorce, you don’t have to cut ties with any of your friends.

The bad news: they might cut ties with you.

You don’t get a lot of say in where your friends go during and after your divorce; it’s not like you can establish ownership of pals like you can with your furniture. However, you can drive away longtime friends that you consider a vital part of your support network (that floral-patterned sofa, on the other hand, is here to stay). The distribution of post-divorce friendships can make property division look simple.

Psychologists say that constantly bad-mouthing your ex or trying to “win” your joint friends through sympathy can send them packing. If they haven’t already gravitated toward you or your ex, don’t try to force anything—and certainly don’t use ultimatums (“If you hang out with him, we can’t be friends anymore!”), because those demands often end up terminating the most solid friendships on their own.

Dealing with the Break-Ups

It’s hard when your friends head for the hills. Whether your buddies have disappeared because they’re uncomfortable with your new single status, they’re closer to your ex or you’ve inadvertently pushed them out of the picture, you’re probably experiencing double grief: the loss of your marriage and the loss of your friends.

Few things are easy when it comes to divorce, and many people lack a solid support network when they need it most. If you’re having a hard time coping, ask your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer for a referral to a local counsellor or therapist who specializes in divorce. Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer has worked with several people in situations just like yours, and he or she can help point you toward complete emotional recovery.