Without a doubt, divorce is difficult no matter who it is that is going through the process. Many times, we see the lives that other people lead in assuming that this person has it easy or never struggles with the same things that we do. This can be for any number of reasons but many times it has to do with the job that the person has or the lifestyle that they lead. All of us have, at one time or another, looked at another person and thought to ourselves: I wish I had with that person has.

Probably the most likely recipient of our envious comment would be a doctor. I can’t think of a single career that is more highly esteemed and well-compensated than doctors. Most people look at doctors and think that they are extremely virtuous, intelligent, and hardworking people. As a result, many doctors are paid very well for the work that they perform and the services that they provide to our community. When we talk about doctors and their ability to have it “all together” we are looking past the difficulties and stresses that come with practicing medicine as well as the problems that we all suffer through in our daily lives.

Regardless of your career divorce is not easy. For anyone who thinks that a doctor, engineer, accountant, or other professional has it easier and a divorce I can assure you that is not the case. An important lesson to learn when it comes to a divorce, and life in general, is that the problems you encounter in your life tend to increase the more you have. For instance, I have noticed in my time practicing as an attorney that people who have high incomes tend to have more debt. We can talk all day and night about what the cause of this may be but understand that if you have a high income then you tend to be in situations where you also take risks with your money and that can be seen in the death you take on. 

However, regardless of how difficult your divorce is, you will make it beyond the divorce case. Your life will not be the same, but no one is that goes through a divorce. Rather, as we have seen during this stage of the pandemic our lives can still have meant and we can find enjoyment in our daily activities regardless of what is going on around us. Your life will not look the same as it did before the divorce but you will be able to find solace in a post-divorce life where you are your person, and you have your future to be concerned with.

Doctors know firsthand the difficulties associated with divorce and this pandemic. I do not need to go into detail or speak about the sacrifices that physicians, nurses, and the entire medical community have made over the past two years. We all appreciate their sacrifices and understand that this pandemic has been especially hard on them. Being on the front lines of some of these difficult circumstances regarding the virus and our care for people has left many doctors burnt out. Nurses and doctors are leaving their jobs at all-time highs.

Additionally, due to quarantining and simply wanting to be safe rather than sorry, doctors have not been able to spend the time with their children as they otherwise would have in some cases. Emergency room doctors would oftentimes return home during times when their children would not be home to get a change of clothes and come back to their clinic or hospital. This was done to avoid situations where you may encounter your children and risk getting them sick. This is the sort of decision that was difficult for many doctors to make but may have ended up being the best for all of us.

In other cases, your spouse may have restricted your children’s access to you out of a concern for the kids well being but also due to an impending divorce. It can be difficult to come home to a house that used to have the sounds of your children only to find it empty. I would imagine that the difference between a busy hospital and a still quiet home would be quite jarring. You may even find yourself in a situation where your spouse believes he or she should have sole custody of the children given the nature of your work and the hours that are committed to your medical practice. After sacrificing so much at work it will be extremely difficult to come home and not be able to console yourself with your children and your family.

Finally, I imagine that you as a physician on the front lines of the battle against COVID would have had to have considered your mortality and what that means for your family. I think that was a major event of this pandemic. Namely, people, possibly for the first time in them don’t live, thinking about what it may mean to pass away and what that would mean to their family. Would it affect the way that you work, the way that you interact with your children, or even the way that you lead your life? There is something about pondering our mortality that can lead to dramatic changes. A divorce, Is an example of one of those dramatic changes.

In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to share with you my thoughts on why divorce can be especially difficult for doctors. A doctor is frequently in a position where you are made to feel like the buck stops with you and that everyone else is relying upon your advice, I’m perspective. In many ways this is true. However, this can be a lonely feeling where you believe that everyone comes to you for help but there is no one available for you to rely upon for assistance if you need it.

However, I am here to assure you that your support system can begin and end with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyers with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are proud to say that we have helped dozens of physicians here in Southeast Texas manage their divorce and set themselves up for success in a post-divorce world. If you are one of those doctors who is concerned with the future of your family and your ability to raise children after a divorce, I certainly recommend that you contact our office today. 

Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultation six days a week. Importantly, for a busy doctor, we offer these consultations in person at both of our Houston area offices, over the phone, and via video. You can schedule these appointments yourself on our website or can contact our office to speak with one of our friendly representatives and staff members who can assist you with scheduling a convenient and free consultation for you today. These consultations are no stress and no commitment type talks with one of our experienced attorneys. You can gain information and use that information to better determine how best to proceed for your family’s future.

What makes divorce particularly difficult for physicians?

For those of you doctors who have children, I think divorce can be especially difficult on you because you already have limited time with your children compared to the rest of us. Your schedules make it so you may return home from work at odd hours and certainly after your children have already eaten dinner or even gone to bed. Additionally, if you have surgery or other procedures scheduled for early in the morning you may be out of the house before the kids even hit the breakfast table. Even in the best of times, this can be a difficult schedule for doctors and their families. 

Considering what your life may be like during a divorce, this type of arrangement is not uncommon, but it does present challenges nonetheless for doctors. Specifically, it is very difficult to be able to argue to a family court judge that you should be named as the primary custodian of your children when you have an atypical work schedule like this. Yes: you may be able to provide for the children from a financial perspective and may love them with all your heart. No one would be debating these topics. However, the simple truth that you are not physically able to care for your children before and after school, take them to extracurricular activities, and generally be present more often than not makes a doctor a tough candidate to become the primary custodian of the children.

On the other hand, you may have anticipated a divorce and made changes to your work schedule or even changed focuses or areas of practice to compensate for the likelihood of a divorce. I have seen doctors who have anticipated a divorce and switched from emergency medical care to opening their practice. These doctors were willing to take a cut in pay to have more predictable hours that still allowed for them to provide for their family’s material well-being. You may not have been in the position to be able to do this and you may yet have problems with being able to be physically present for your kids.

Whatever your circumstances are you should be confident in your ability to be able to continue to play a role in the life of your children as a parent. Physician spouses will sometimes tell doctors that due to their work schedule there is no chance for them to be able to have a meaningful role in the life of the children moving forward. This is done as an intimidation factor and is not true. You should never back down when it comes to being able to have a say in the life of your children both from a physical standpoint and from a conservatorship standpoint. Being able to have rights and duties related to your children’s upbringing is what being a parent is all about. 

next, doctors, at least in my experience, sometimes have problems when it comes to asking for help. Just like we talked about earlier in today’s blog post doctors are frequently tasked with taking on huge challenges and making important decisions all on their own. Many times, these are split-second decisions that relate to life and death scenarios. It is not often that a doctor feels comfortable asking for help in their life outside of medicine. Again, feeling like you have to make all the decisions on your own is not uncommon in a divorce, but it is also not healthy.

Another issue that I have encountered with doctors is that doctors can frequently be made to feel like they don’t have time to concern themselves with the emotional aspects of a case because they were concerned with their medical practice, their finances, their family, and other considerations like this. As a result, you need to be careful as a physician of wandering into a place mentally where you become reliant upon drugs or alcohol to fill those emotional gaps. This is not to say that you will develop an addiction during your divorce but even doctors are human beings. Many people let go of their fitness, their diet, and other positive habits to grab towards habits that may not be beneficial but make you feel good at the moment.

Finally, many doctors concern themselves with the entire world around them and sometimes can’t take the time to properly grieve the end of their marriage or even consider what their life is going to look like after a divorce. On some level, it is easier from an emotional perspective to simply tell yourself that this divorce means the definite end of life as you knew it and that you will not be able to fully recover from the case. I sincerely hope this is not the way that you were thinking. Again, finding a support system, therapist or counselor can be a great way for you to help put into context the divorce and your life. Moving forward it is important for you and your children that you be able to think long and hard about what the divorce means and what you can do to mitigate its effects for your family while building towards a better and brighter future.

What can you do to make your divorce easier on you and your family?

Getting a divorce is undoubtedly a negative experience. However, just because you are going through a divorce does not make you anything other than a human being. You are not a superhero and there is only so much you could have done to prevent the divorce. Rather than tell yourself that you are a failure or that your life will never recover from the divorce you should accept, on a certain level, that even the most well-intentioned people can see their marriages and divorce. Accepting this reality can help you to heal yourself on a profound level and move towards a more positive future for yourself and your family. The failure to understand this can lead to a lot of bitterness in a relationship and can even provide you with some issues when it comes to improving yourself and learning from the experience.

It can be difficult to do this next step, but I think it is incredibly important for you to be able to work on yourself and understand that it is important to build on the divorce and improve your life which is possible with the lessons that you have learned. Even if this means taking 20 minutes a day that you otherwise would have spent looking at social media, mindlessly watching television, or just unwinding from the day to purposely think about yourself and your family. You can go through a difficult process I could divorce income up their side is a better person. However, even if you wander into a divorce, it is difficult to wander out without a plan. This is where purposeful thinking intentionality plays a huge role.

You are not alone when you go through a divorce. Even if you have moved to Southeast Texas from someplace else and do not have a large support system the first place you can look to for divorce support is in you were close friendships, family, and even an empathetic goal-oriented family law attorney. No amount of legal representation will compensate for having a solid support system behind the scenes. However, if you feel like you are drowning in the see of divorce and uncertainty then consider your options when it comes to finding tried and true legal representation to help you write your ship.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contingent on today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offered free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.