Divorce is stressful enough as is, there’s no need to make it additionally complicated. Surprisingly, this is exactly what so many people and up doing. The reason being is that they’re often under a strong influence of their emotions that are still left unresolved, which makes it quite hard to stay composed and make rational decisions. Either that, or they act on impulse, not thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions thoroughly enough. That being said, there is a better way to handle things, and this is going to be the main focus of this article.
Don’t take it out on your children
Children often get caught in the middle of the fire when divorce is on the table. They get yelled at, stressed out, and pressured to make decisions. But is it ever really appropriate or suitable to get them involved? After all, they’re just kids. Moreover, do not, in any way, force them to make a decision who they want to live with straight off the bat.
Similarly, you shouldn’t have them listen to your adult problems. First of all, they’re not their own, and chances are they’re too young to understand them anyway. You also shouldn’t bad-mouth your significant other in front of them. Even though your relationship might be over, your kids have a right to retain a loving image of both of their parents. So don’t try to convince them not to spend time with either one of you and don’t belittle each other in front of them.
Do seek out professional help from a therapist
A divorce is a time of turmoil, not just for you, but for the entire family. Too many parents think they can brave the storm alone, but in reality, there’s only so much a human person can take. The fact of the matter is that your mental health is important, since it’s the thing that will help you carry on through all of these troubling times, retain a clear frame of mind and the ability to think clearly.
Consider getting your kids involved in the therapy as well; everyone’s going to benefit, not just you (believe it or not, sometimes the kids have it even harder than you do). There are all sorts of specialized therapists out there who can help you get back on your feet, and taking advantage of this will better equip you for the times that lie ahead of you.
Don’t fire off the legal cannons immediately
Don’t jump to making conclusions too quickly; litigation, while sometimes imminent, is in no way always so. KM Family Law recommends that, if all possible, you should resort to a milder form of reaching an agreement, such as mediation. If the both of you are good communicators, it’s indeed possible to resolve the matters without any kind of legal interference whatsoever.
But if you absolutely must resort to legal action when divorcing, don’t threaten your significant other with it, and don’t pressure your kids to pick a side. The general battle-plan is that peaceful resolution of the conflict should be the primary goal, with litigation only being a last ditch effort to fall back on when everything else fails.
Do leave your retirement accounts untouched
The assets the two of you have built together over the course of time need to be left as is, so don’t go around emptying your retirement accounts or try to remove your spouse from your medical or life insurance. Your self-preservation instinct may start kicking in and drive you towards such rash decisions, but don’t act upon them quite so hastily.
The problem with removing your spouse prematurely lies in the fact that in practice, this only serves to increase your attorney fees later on down the road, which is something you clearly want to avoid. If there are other health-related complications while the legal matters between the two of you are still left unresolved, other financial consequences could follow suit. Therefore, discussing such actions with your attorney before proceeding remains of crucial importance.
Don’t post personal information on social media
Ranting about how much you’re hurt or how you dislike your significant other’s actions may give you a short-term emotional relief, but the long-lasting consequences of such actions can be absolutely devastating. Remember the line you hear the officer say every time a criminal is arrested? Even though the divorce proceeding is in no way a criminal case, everything you say can, and will, be used against you in the court of law.
The internet is especially unforgiving in this regard; you should pretty much assume that everything you post there will stay public for everyone to see, even if you’ve taken every precautionary step towards ensuring the privacy of your posts. Whatever you say on Facebook will stay there and you won’t be able to take it back, not even by deleting the post. Your Facebook contacts might save a screenshot of it and spread it around, which could severely hurt your good reputation if the wrong person sees it.
Do remember who you are and retain a positive self-image
No one hopes (or plans) for a divorce during their lifetime. It’s just something that’s never discussed and swept under a rug. But still, you’re going to have to deal with it at some point. When doing so, it helps knowing that a divorce does not shape you and it certainly does not define you.
If anything, those who have the unfortunate life experience of having to go through a divorce often end up being mentally stronger than those who’ve had better fortune in life. You see, sometimes, good can come of ill, and this is the thought that will help you turn things around, and you will gradually be able to build yourself anew.
Divorce is a taxing process, both mentally and financially. Even though your family will never be the same, you can at least rest assured that by maintaining your composure, you will remain in good standing with your kids who will remember you for the responsible and caring adult that you are.