How Your Culture Affects Your Divorce

Marriage and divorce statistics vary by ethnic culture. Your “culture” can also be your religion, workplace, family, neighborhood, or group of close friends.

Not surprisingly, many cultural groups disapprove of divorce.  Some may even blame both participants, no matter what the circumstances.  If you are in a culture that frowns on divorce, and then you are involved in a divorce, it can be twice as hard to deal with the emotional strain. We see a lot of clients who are in this position, and we do our best to understand the cultural part of their situation and give them guidance and comfort, rather than just  looking at the bare facts.

Whether you “wanted” the divorce, “needed” the divorce, or wish that it wasn’t happening, you will have a more difficult time without the support of your close group.  Here are some tips to use if you are part of a culture that does not approve of divorce:

  • Be gentle with yourself.  No matter why this is happening, you will get through it.
  • Understand that you are not the only one involved. Don’t tell yourself, and don’t let anyone else convince you that it is all your fault.
  • Find support in your community. Others have been in your shoes. No matter how “strict” your family, church, or community is, others have gone through it. It helps to find someone who has and talk to them.
  • Find support outside of your community.   Others who aren’t involved with your group may be able to listen compassionately to what you are going through and bring you some fresh ideas on how to get through the hard times.
  • Tell your attorney about your culture.  Find a good, compassionate divorce attorney who will listen to you talk about this part of your life, and understand why it is important to you.

Your own culture may affect the way that you wish to handle your divorce.  As professionals, we feel that part of doing our best for our clients means respecting and understanding the client’s background.

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