This morning a recording of the school superintendant’s voice called my house at 5 am to tell me that school is closed. When I got up and looked outside- it looked like it was just raining. I have been a Mississippian my whole life, and I can easily count on my hands and feet how many times we have had really wintery weather. I am talking about severe ice on the roads or a significant accumulation of snow. Historically if there is even a threat of snow or ice, we shut everything down. Schools dismiss their students, businesses close, people stock up on water and batteries and canned goods and generally freak out. It looks like today is going to be one of those days.

So what’s the deal?

Snow and ice are unfamiliar. We don’t have snow tires, proper ice removing tools, fancy heaters or great equipment that keeps us mobile in the snow and ice in Mississippi because most of the time, we don’t need them. Your next question is probably, “What does this have to do with divorce?”

I had a law school professor who used to say that criminal attorneys deal with the worst people on their best behavior and divorce attorneys deal with the best people on their worst behavior. In twelve years of family law practice, I could not agree more. When facing a divorce, just like icy roads in Mississippi, we freak out. Why? Because divorce is unfamiliar- our lives are on the verge of being different and it is uncomfortable. We are unprepared for the ice and snow storms of life and when they threaten, we don’t know what to do.

Okay smart guy, what do you suggest?

Let’s analyze this thing from all the way around. That’s what I do! Just like when facing a snow storm, you can stay home, build a fire, make some hot chocolate, grab a good book and relax. If you choose to stay home, there is a chance that the power could go out and the water could freeze and you get miserably stuck in the house with cabin fever. You could get bundled up and go outside and play in the snow and the ice, but if you do you are going to get wet and nasty and you may catch a cold. You may have the best time of your life. If you choose to hop in your car and get out on the roads and see how bad it is, you might make it to where you are going, but you may well end up in a traffic jam or on the side of the road or even worse, slammed into the railing of an icy bridge.

In wintery weather or a stormy marriage, there is the “sure thing” and the unknown. The decision is yours but the best advice I can give is to watch the weather. Get good guidance. Make your decisions based upon logic and not emotions and be careful whichever way you decide to go.

Craig Robertson is a divorce attorney practicing throughout Mississippi.  

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