While many divorces are amicable and uncontested, very few are emotionally easy. Even when the parties are in complete agreement about the division of their assets, amount of support, and custody arrangement, their realities still reflect that a significant relationship is disappearing. This emotional toll is further compounded when a case becomes contested. High conflict cases present their own issues, which often overshadow the grief the parties feel in mourning the relationship because the conflict presents more immediate needs such as escaping abuse, ensuring time with the children, or financially making ends meet.
How to Get Through a Divorce Emotionally
Whether your case is amicable or high conflict, here are five tips to help you survive your divorce:
Prepare Financially for Divorce – If possible before you separate, obtain copies of all important documents regarding assets and debts, including tax returns, titles for any property, vehicles, bank accounts, credit card accounts, mortgages and all other documentation showing your financial status. This will reduce the need for discovery, which can be time-consuming and expensive. It will also ensure you have a complete picture of the financial pie without worrying that something is being hidden. Also, look for ways to immediate reduce your expenses since divorce causes income to be spread thin.
Talk to Someone About Your Divorce – You will need someone to talk to about your feelings, frustrations, thoughts, and ideas. Your attorney can certainly help you in the legal realm but we are not therapists and using us for therapy can get quite expensive. Find a good therapist or trusted friend to be by your side and give you the tools to cope with the myriad of emotions you will experience through the process. Avoid seeking legal advice from friends, as every case is different and others’ experiences can confuse you about your own case.
Be Realistic About Life After Your Divorce – Divorcing can be scary because of the inherent uncertainty but the fear will subside once you look realistically at what you need to do for your future. You may need to consider moving residences to reduce expenses or so your children can be in a particular school district. You may need to explore getting a job if you do not already work. You may need to adjust your existing work schedule to ensure you have quality time with your children.
Truly Enjoy the Time You Have With Your Children – One of the biggest heartaches from divorce comes from the idea that you no longer get your children 100% of the time and often can expect only 50% of the time. For most parents, this is emotionally devastating. The adjustment will be difficult but focusing on the quality of time with your children will help you get through. This does not always mean being the "fun" parent. Some of the best bonding time with a child can be experienced while on a car ride or working on a project together. Do not overlook mundane tasks and discount them as "boring" – try to utilize them to make your bond stronger with your children.
Keep a Positive Perspective – As emotionally taxing as a divorce can be, try to keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and know that someday this too shall pass. Millions of people have survived divorces, and you will too. The best way to help yourself through this difficult time and to keep perspective is to have a compassionate and dedicated attorney.
At Pacific Cascade Family Law, we would be honored to help you through this difficult period in your life. Please call us today if we can assist you.