How to Give Clear Requests to Friends and Family Members Who Want to Help You

When you’re going through a complicated divorce or an emotional custody battle, experts say that soliciting support from friends and family is an effective way to get through the process as smoothly as possible. Still, not enough has been said about the appropriate way to go about this. The following demonstrates clear, direct requests you can make to friends and family members who want to help you, so you can get the most out of your support system.

“I’m feeling overwhelmed today, and I don’t want the kids to experience any negativity. Can you take them to the movies to help distract them?”

Instead of simply asking friends and family members to watch over your children while you’re handling the logistical and emotional aspects of the divorce, emphasize exactly how the divorce is affecting you and offer easy solutions they can provide. Ideally, strive to frame your requests around the benefits it can offer your children, and talk specifically about how their assistance will make life better/easier.

“Will you ask around for referrals to help me find a good divorce lawyer?”

This is a question best posed to a close friend or relative who knows a lot about what your case involves. For example, if your spouse is a member of the military, you can ask a friend to reach out to other divorced military couples. Provide clear instruction, while also capitalizing on the strengths each member of your support system offers.

“I appreciate your support, but I would prefer if you don’t discuss my divorce with others without my permission.”

Even though they mean well, your friends and family members might unknowingly offend or act inappropriately during this time, simply because they’re not well-versed in divorce etiquette. To avoid frustration and undue conflict, confront your loved ones openly and make direct requests about your wishes. Get your biggest concerns out of the way early. For example, if your divorce involved particularly sensitive matters like infidelity, ask your support circle not to spread rumors or otherwise air these details in public, even if their intention is to defend you.

Your friends and family members genuinely want to help during this difficult time. Even though you may be a private person, try to think of small ways your support circle can help—both for their sake and yours. It can be something as simple as cooking dinner for the family one night or just listening to you vent about your troubles. Similarly, the DiPietro Family Law Group is always willing to help during this difficult time, so feel free to schedule a free consultation with our firm and regain control of your life. We’re available at 202.609.7446.

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