Is Family Law in Any Way Like Football?

My new office manager, a huge fan of the Broncos, challenged me to write this month’s blog about our state’s football team, you know the one vying for the Super Bowl win on Sunday.  Always happy to take on a challenge, I began to think about how teams are like families – ever evolving.  I saw last night on the player interview highlights Peyton Manning talking about the Broncos team this year compared to the Broncos team he last took to the Super Bowl.  He stated very sincerely that he was proud to be part of that team, and he is proud to be part of this team, both Broncos’ teams but different in components and members, but with his dedication to its success the very same.
That, too, is a healthy way to look at a family going through a transition.

Divorce does mean that the family unit as it was previously known is no more.  That “team” has dismantled, and reformed.  However, even after the divorce is final, it is still a family just with different components – different households, different timeframes – but the same family nonetheless.  The ultimate goal is to get through it with the same amount of pride as before, and the same level of dedication to the new form’s success.

It is true that the team, as whole, must work toward the same goals.  In divorce, like in football, we can only control our own actions and behaviors, with no realistic expectation of changing others.  The receivers can only make themselves the best they can be, and have no control over making Manning throw well.  So, when looking at the goal of having a successful restructured family post-divorce, you can only do what you can on your end.  Put the children first.  Keep them from being in the middle.   Support a healthy and safe relationship between the children and their other parent.  Don’t look for fights.  Disengage with the former spouse in any of the unhealthy ways that predated the divorce.  Wake up each day with the goal being that the kids are successful despite the divorce, you are successful despite the divorce, and you are not going to make the final member of this new formed family team unsuccessful.  Be the biggest fan that you can be to the team, even in its new form.

I am rooting for the Broncos this Sunday, the Broncos who represents the team from years before and now, and we fans as a whole.   I am also rooting for all the post-decree families out there.   Their successes are far more important and long lasting than a professional football game, and will impact generations to come.  Go team!

Leave a Reply