Getting divorced is a process that requires patience and kindness. No matter who initiated the separation, everyone will be hurting. The people who will feel the most pain are your children. You and your partner must ensure that you stay respectful and sensitive to their feelings throughout this process. Make a plan for informing them about the separation and divorce together. Always be open to answering their questions and make sure that you reassure any fears they may express.
While you and your partner engage lawyers to settle the many matters about your marriage, consider consulting a trust attorney about changing your will as well. This will help you feel much more settled during the divorce proceedings as you know exactly how you want your children to be protected and cared for at the conclusion. It will help you to discuss and come to a more amicable settlement of childcare and alimony payments.
Once this is settled, look into getting yourself into individual therapy. You will need additional support and guidance to remain healthy and properly supportive to your children during this difficult time. Keep your friends close and talk to your family about any uncomfortable feelings you may experience. This will help you keep your peace and avoid revealing too much on social media or being too reactive with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Lean On Your Support Network
Now is the time to turn to your family and friends and tell them how much help you need. Being strong and resilient is wonderful, but for the sake of your children, you need to be as kind to yourself as you would be to someone in the same situation as you. Emotional support situations will come up more or less as the reality of the situation filters through. You will need a combination of professional counselling and familial love to get you through. This is especially necessary for your children as your family and friends can show them that they will never be a lack of love and support even after their parents’ divorce.
Avoid Listening to Gossip
An unfortunate side effect of starting a separation and beginning divorce proceedings is the people who will suddenly have nothing but mean things to say about your spouse. You need to avoid these people as much as possible. They will only stoke your resentment and lead you to make unhealthy choices. Some of these people may believe they are trying to help, but many people want to spit venom in your ear because they enjoy drama. If they do not stop insulting your spouse and telling you about their shortcomings after you have asked them, then cut them off. Unfortunately, difficult life situations like divorce are when you find out who among your friends are true and who are self-centered.
Think of Your Divorce as Dissolving a Business
Try to approach your partner as if they are a business partner with whom you are parting ways. This may help you to remain courteous and communicate with them no matter the provocation to reply harshly or avoid them. It will also help you to keep from interacting with them outside of the boundaries you need to set. Enforce that communication must only be via text message and email, avoid getting into phone calls, and try not to interact with them any more than needed when they come for the children.
It may seem harsh, and they may suggest that the two of you try to be friends. But this is a conversation after the divorce is concluded. Treating each other courteously as business partners will allow you to settle the divorce without getting too emotional or being instigated into making things any harder than they need to be.
Avoid Making Big Decisions
The time for making large purchases, throwing a divorce party, or changing the family dynamic is after the divorce is concluded. You may feel that you deserve a new car or you want to celebrate the big changes to your life. But this can come across negatively in the divorce proceedings. It can also seriously affect your children to see you behaving as though dissolving the marriage is a joy to you. For them, it is a very serious breakdown of the most stable relationship they have ever had.
Making large purchases while your finances have not been separated and settled can also cause a judge or arbiter to find you at fault. This can put your negotiating stance at a disadvantage. Try to restrain yourself. Have small celebrations with your friends when the children are with your partner. Research the large purchase you want to make exhaustively in anticipation. This will help you to spend your money in a smarter way as impulse purchases can end up being bad financial decisions.
Organize every document you will need for the divorce into separate folders. Make copies of prenuptial agreements, a list of all shared assets, and what items you would be willing to give up in exchange for the items you want to keep. This will make it much easier for the lawyers to arbitrate the matter. If you and your ex-spouse can remain cordial and honest about the true state of your financial situation, you may never need to see a judge. You two will save a great deal of money and time by being able to settle everything via arbitration.