Join A Group
Feel like the odd duck out in your old social clubs and organizations? Need a reminder that you’re not alone? Need to share what you’re going through with people with similar experience?
Almost every community has divorce recovery support groups sponsored by national organizations, religious groups or community centers. Before going, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Divorce support groups consist of individuals with a similar experience who come together to share information, and give mutual support. They are not a replacement for a professional therapist, attorney or financial advisor.
- Contact more than one support group. Request information be sent to you about how the support meetings are set up. Here are a few important questions to ask: How long are they? How often do they meet? Are there specific requirements? Is there a fee? How many people are there in a meeting? Is it coed? Is there a trained professional facilitator? Can you bring children? Is it non-denominational?
- Often a group is filled with individuals who are at different stages in recovering from divorce. Be ready to listen and share what you have learned so far.
- Be sure to join a support group in your state as the divorce laws differ from state to state.
What are the benefits of joining a support group?
- You’ll learn from others’ mistakes and their triumphs in how they are moving forward in their lives and coping with divorce.
- If you have children, you’ll learn how other individuals are handling questions from their kids, visitations, custody, etc.
- You’ll learn that you are not alone in your feelings.
- You’ll learn how others are managing their divorce process, including managing their lawyer, financial advisor, forensic accountant, etc.
- If family members are not available or supportive of your divorce, a group offers others who are ready and willing to listen (not judge).
- Should you need to join the job market or adjust your work schedule, others in your group will offer first-hand advice.
- A sharing of resources from daycare to helpful websites to recommendations on legal counsel and finances are another added benefit.
Where do I find a support group?
Local community centers, Y’s, and religious institutions often have divorce support groups. Your attorney or therapist may also have a list of support groups. With the internet now becoming more and more popular, so has the number of on-line support groups. Here are a few we found on the internet. Some of the support groups listed have both online and in-person group settings:
- Parents Without Partners has a directory of chapters in the US and Canada and tips on coping, grieving and communicating with children and social considerations.
- Divorcecare.com has both international and national listings of locations and groups facilitators.
- DivorceHQ.com provides contact information on divorce support groups in Canada and the U.S..
- Responsible-divorce.com holds an online support group for men. They also have resources for second wives and girlfriends of divorcing/divorced dads.