Some of us are more prepared for the storm than others. I saw a former client of mine in the hardware store today and she, like me, was picking up some sleds for her children, but she was also picking up some oil lamps as well....just in case. She said her husband was a "prepper" and asked her to pick up the lanterns. While I was in line, two or three people came in looking for kerosine heaters and the hardware store was out. Three or four people came in looking for snow melt and the hardware store was out. Despite all of the weather reports we've gotten I bet there are even more unlucky folks out there who will be a little or even a lot unprepared for this year's big storm. On my way home, I noticed that the traffic was starting to back up. I saw a few folks speeding right along in trucks or SUVs at close to the regular speed limit and I saw others taking their time navigating through the streets.
Snow storms are a lot like divorces. Those of us about to be snowed in are a lot like soon to be divorcees. Some of us are more prepared for divorces than others. Some people want divorces and out right ask for them. Some people want divorces and out right leave. These people are the "preppers". They have already grieved about losing the relationship. There is no going back. They likely have done their own reseach and they have met with a lawyer. They may have already had a separation agreement prepared to hand over when they utter the words "I want a divorce".
No matter what divorce warning signs are present some other people will be a little and even a lot unprepared for the divorce. They shouldn't be. There are plenty of divorce warnings out there for these people to see. Couples are getting divorced all the time. Close family friends are getting divorced. Books and being written about divorce. Movies and documentaries are being made about divorce. Even in their own relationships the warning signs are present. Some of these folks are already sleeping in different beds, arguing more than anything else, cheating on their spouses, being cheated on, drinking too much, et cetera, et cetera. And they may continue doing all of these things until it is too late. They won't go to a therapist to deal with their personal issues. They won't go to a counselor with their spouse to help smooth over the rough patches in their marriage. They won't say no to the other man or the other woman. They won't go see a divorce lawyer just in case. And then things will really start getting rough for them when it starts "snowing": when their spouse says they want a divorce, when they are served with divorce papers, or when they are kicked out of the house because their spouse had to get a protective order. After these things start happening, these people are going to be in for some tough legal sledding. Some of these people will do the smart thing and consult with a lawyer, but some will try to make it on their own. Those folks will likely fail. Some folks will consult with a lawyer, but if they have chosen poorly or if they have chosen wisely and fail to heed their lawyers advice, they will be acting just like those speeding SUVs: basically careening around on icy roads with the windshield fogged over, with no chains on the tires, and with too much confidence that their four wheel drive is going to allow them to get by. I bet more than a few of those folks are going to end up in a ditch or up against a guard rail and I hope they don't get hurt.
There isn't any reason to be so unprepared for snow storms or divorce. Lay up supplies before the snow season even starts. Snow melt will keep. Check your snow shovel to make sure it isn't about to break. Buy a safety kit and put it in your car just in case. Buy a generator maybe if you can. Pick up a few laterns for when the lights go out. In the case of divorce, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Pay attention to the warnings signs. Communicate with your spouse. Get the problems out in the open. Don't be afraid to get professional help. Contact the therapist or counselor early. Get help for substance abuse problems. At the earliest sign of trouble, talk to a lawyer. Find out where you stand. Find out where you can go from here. Find out just how "deep" matters can get. Don't wait until just before the storm starts to get what you need to make it safely through your divorce. Your spouse might be way ahead of you and he or she might be ready for the long winter of divorce litigation.
-Rob Hagy, Charlottesville Divorce Lawyer. For more information or assistance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office to schedule an appointment af (434)293-4562.