The 3 most important (and sometimes difficult) tips for surviving divorce proceedings.
Updated: Jun 5
Divorce is one of the most difficult events in anyone's life-- making it through the process while staying sane might seem impossible. Here are 3 keys to making it through and out the other side.
1. Do your level best to take emotion out of the court process. By the time you get to the step of actually filing a divorce action, there have likely been a lot of emotional interactions and events. Once however, you and your spouse are actually into the court system, there are things that have to be done in order to separate you-- fairly dividing your assets, determining custody and parenting time, figuring out child or spousal support if appropriate, deciding what to do with the debts, etc .
Of course these issues are deeply tied to your relationship, and all the emotional turmoil associated with it. – anger, sadness, etc. – (it's like this for everyone)--while it is not possible to eliminate this connection, it is possible to separate the emotional from the mechanical aspects--- the better you are able to put those feelings in their own space, and approach the tasks at hand in an objective way, the easier, less expensive, and usually faster the entire process will go.
2. Form your own support group of people you trust, to help you through the process. Even the most calm, "friendly" and business-like divorce can be trying, and often confusing. Making necessary decisions can be difficult.
Build a small, core group of friends and family to help you vent, to bounce ideas off of, to give their honest opinions, and supply emotional support. The smaller the number the better, to keep your own head clearer. A small group of family and friends can play multiple roles, keeping you in track when you need it most, providing alternative viewpoints, helping you weight options and focus on what is most important to you, without getting bogged down in the small things. Often family and friends bring a perspective with knowledge you AND your soon to be ex-spouse that greatly helps.
Listen to your divorce attorney when it comes to court related decisions. Often family have ideas about what should be done, and are a valuable asset when weighing in, but it is very rare that people have the experience and knowledge of the system that your attorney brings to the table.
A good attorney will make things clearer by honestly presenting the pros and cons of any course of action, and will offer opinions on the best possible way to proceed, keeping in mind your specific needs and goals.
3. Focus on the present, but look forward. While divorce is without question the end of one type of relationship, it is at the same time the beginning of something else, and an opportunity to start again. Start something new, pursue interests or hobbies you've either had, or always wanted to try, get out and meet people, exercise, and stay or more importantly, GET engaged with the world instead of retreating from it.