A Healthy Divorce Is Possible; Know How To Make It Happen
Divorce in the United States is extremely common with around 40 to 50% of couples making the decision to part ways. With this number being so high, there are plenty of experienced professionals out there who can help you during every step of the process. With an abundance of resources available to you, it is possible to get through a divorce stronger, healthier, and happier than you were before. Here are a few key steps to make it happen.
Don’t Go It Alone
This is not the time to isolate yourself. Stay busy, and stay busy while around other people. A good source of comfort is your friends. While married, it can be difficult to keep coffee dates and other plans with colleagues and friends. Now is the time to do it! Get coffee, or ask a friend to pick up a hobby with you. If you always wanted to try yoga, do it and ask a friend to tag along.
Sometimes, however well meaning your friends may be, you may find you need additional support. A quick Google search can point you to local support groups in your area for recently divorced men and women. Some of these groups have a religious focus, a self-improvement focus, or a focus on raising healthy kids post-divorce. Pick the focus that speaks to you most, and try it out for at least two or three meetings. Some of these groups are even led by experienced divorce counselors. Select one of these for a more structured approach.
Finally, one-on-one therapy may be best, particularly if you are having a difficult time coping with emotions. Therapy sessions focus solely on you, help you grieve at your own pace, and do it all with non-judgment.
Try to keep an open mind, and stay as objective as possible. Be realistic about it. Sometimes, like in the midst of custody battles, staying objective is going to feel like a near-impossible feat. In these instances, it is best to work with a compassionate law firm, divorce attorney or child custody lawyer. These professionals can help you fairly divide assets, determine child custody and set up alimony payments. While it may take a saint-like divorcee to stay objective when it comes to your children or alimony, professionals have years of experience. They can help you calmly and fairly determine what is best for your future and your family.
Write Down A Plan and Stick To It
As a unit, sit down and try to come up with some guidelines about what is best for your children, if applicable. Establish a clear plan for undertaking any disagreements that may come up and stick to it–even and especially when you’re stressed. Make determinations early on about holidays, birthdays and vacations. Share this plan openly with your children and invite them to ask questions. Stay calm and measured during the conversations.
This one may sound a bit simple, and you may not take too kindly to anyone who tells you to “Just stay positive!” during such a difficult and trying time. Take a deep breath, and know that there is some wisdom and value in it. For example, continually saying bad things about your ex-spouse to friends, family, and anyone who will listen is only likely to make you feel worse.
Keep Your Focus Forward
Talking to your soon-to-be ex-spouse too much is going to keep you stuck. You may have a lot to discuss in terms of your children, child support payments, and alimony, but try to keep these discussions at a minimum. Instead, focus on you and focus on the future. Is there something you always wanted to do but didn’t do it? It’s a good time to explore these things. Climb a mountain, join the gym, or take dancing lessons. Do whatever makes you happy, and keeps you moving forward.
Divorce can be a difficult time, thanks to child custody battles and disagreements over alimony. With the right outlook and a few intentional steps, it does not have to be as difficult and grueling as they say. Keep friends close, seek professional counseling, meet with a lawyer to help settle disputes, stick to a plan, and keep your focus on the future.
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