Navigating a Divorce

If you’re considering a divorce, chances are, you aren’t having the best time at the moment. Divorce is a highly difficult scenario to navigate and you’re going to find yourself experiencing a host of emotions throughout the entire process. It’s completely normal to feel lost and overwhelmed during this time. Make sure to bear in mind that this isn’t a new or bizarre scenario. Nowadays, divorce is actually pretty common, with a significant percentage of marriages ending in divorce and separation. You’re not alone and there are plenty of means and sources of support out there for you. Here’s just a little advice that can help you to navigate the journey in the most positive and straightforward manner possible.

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It’s important that you reach a stage of acceptance if you and your partner are getting a divorce. Chances are, for you to be at the point of reading this article, divorce is on the table, and going to go ahead. Whether you instigated the divorce or are more on the receiving end of this suggestion, you’re going to have to accept what has happened and move on through the process with as little negative emotion as possible. Rather than seeing your ending marriage as a failure, you need to take lessons from it. These will differ from one person to another, as every relationship is different. Use this as an opportunity for growth. Holding onto something that is officially coming to an end isn’t going to do you any favors in the long run.

The Legalities

Of course, marriage is a legal process, so divorce is also a legal process. You’re going to have to deal with a few different legalities in order to make your divorce official. Of course, this process can completely differ depending on where you were married, where you now live, and other individual factors. It’s highly recommended that you consult a qualified professional for family law legal advice throughout this process. Not only will you need this in regards to actually filing for the divorce, but you’re going to need further advice if there’s money, assets, or children involved. A lawyer will be able to advise both you and your ex-partner on protocol, what is deemed fair and unfair and what should be split up in what way. They can provide assistance with everything from splitting finances and assets to arranging the best child custody agreement for your little ones and their needs.

Breaking It to Kids

If you have children, you’re going to have to shed light on the situation for them at some point. You can’t keep separation a secret forever and you’re going to have to get your family into new habits and routines that will allow for a healthy upbringing for your children. Hopefully, you are in a situation where childcare and responsibility can be fairly split between parents. In some scenarios, when one parent is dangerous or a threat, this may not be possible and a family lawyer will help you to come up with the best solutions. However, in a general scenario, both parents should still be able to be involved in the kids’ lives. When letting your children know about your divorce, you will need to take an approach appropriate for their age. You will tell a five-year-old in a very different way from how you may tell a teenager. What’s most important is that you don’t dump your emotions on your kids. Keep things as positive and neutral as possible. They don’t need to know the ins and outs of issues such as affairs. They will not be emotionally mature enough to process this and you don’t want to tarnish one parent’s reputation, creating hostility and difficulties.

Taking Care of Yourself

There’s a lot to organize when going through a divorce, but it’s important that you are kind to yourself and practice self-care throughout this process. All too many people neglect their individual needs. This is a hard time. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel down. It’s okay to need to take time off work if necessary. Your employer should grant compassionate leave while you get your affairs in order. Take some time to show yourself some TLC. This can vary depending on your individual needs. It might be meeting a friend for a coffee and a vent. It may be going on a spa day to disconnect and unwind. It might be going for a long walk, picking up a new hobby, or simply taking a nap. What’s important is that you avoid bad habits that will prove ultimately negative for you. Don’t turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive drinking, chain-smoking or drug use. This won’t help anyone.

Creating an Appropriate Relationship With Your Ex

You need to set boundaries and determine what the relationship between you and your ex-partner will now be. If you don’t have children or shared responsibilities, many people find that cutting ties and leading your own lives independently of each other is the best approach. If you have children, they will need to be in the picture, so you need to find a way to communicate and engage with each other appropriately and in a more positive manner than you may be initially inclined to. The only way to determine what boundaries work for you is through clear, open, and honest communication. Take some time to discuss boundaries with your ex-partner. Determine what is most healthy and make sure to stick to it. If boundaries begin to be blurred or crossed, you need to reign things back in for another conversation to reset them.

Divorce does tend to be one of the most difficult scenarios that people face in life, so it’s important that you are prepared for what you may face when going through the process yourself. Fo course, everyone processes different things in different ways, so you need to find a healthy approach that works for you and those who depend on you.

About the author

Petra Monaco is an artist, author, and professional problem solver for creatives, rebels, and multi-passionates.

She is here to help you remove frustration from your life and achieve your creative dreams with more ease and confidence.

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