Divorce is already hard. Don’t make it harder.
8 Tips for Making Divorce Painless
Be Clear About What You Want
One of the things that makes any divorce difficult is when arguments arise over who gets what. Before you embark on the divorce process, think carefully about what you really want out of it. Be clear about what you want and, more importantly, what you need.
That expensive TV would be nice to keep, but it’s more important to keep the car if your work involves traveling long distances. You’ll need to be honest with yourself while you’re working out what you can let go of; brutally so, in fact. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you have to have it. Work out what you are really committed to fighting for if necessary, and also see what your ex-spouse needs more than you do.
Muster Some Dignity And Grace
It can be hard to be a better person and not to get dragged down with fights and arguments during your divorce, particularly if yours is an especially acrimonious split. However, if you want a relatively painless experience that’s what you’ll need to do. Muster some dignity and grace when you go into settlement negotiations and act as maturely as possible without getting drawn into unnecessary battles that will only cause you stress and grief.
Get Your Finances In Order
This is especially important if you had joint accounts, joint cards, and joint bills. You’re going to need to have access to your financial records sooner rather than later, so it makes sense to get them together as early in the proceedings as possible. If you haven’t already you also need to open a credit card and bank account in your name.
Consider An Alternative To Litigation
Although most divorcing couples jump straight into litigation proceedings, in fact, there are alternatives to settling your divorce in court which can save you both money and aggravation. Mediation or collaborative law could be better options for you, especially if you and your ex are able to be civil to each other and understand the need to compromise.
Don’t Get The Kids Involved
Everyone gives this advice to divorcing couples yet in so many cases it gets ignored. This is often because they involve their children in such subtle ways that they barely realize they’re doing it. It’s hard not to talk negatively about your former spouse but it’s important to keep the kids out of your adult problems as much as possible as it can seriously backfire on you and cause long-term problems that will taint your child’s life for many years to come.
Keep It Brief When Telling Others About Your Divorce
One of the things that can make the divorce process even harder is the reaction of other people when you tell them. Being unapologetic, upfront, and honest is the best policy as people usually respond better to difficult news when you tackle it head-on. Don’t feel pressured into giving an in-depth reason for your decision to split, though.
You aren’t obliged to tell anyone the intimate secrets of your personal life, so if anyone you tell starts to offer any unsolicited advice or has a seriously inappropriate reaction you can just say “thanks for caring, but I’d rather not talk about this right now”.
Get Emotional Support
Of course, you’ll have your divorce attorney to rely on during the process, but that isn’t the same as getting emotional support from loved ones. It can be hard to go through a divorce since many people are used to relying on their ex to give them the emotional support they need. When that source of understanding and stability is gone, it can be hard to know where to turn. Tap instead into the relationships you have with family and friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
People are always willing to help a loved one through a challenging time. You could also consider joining a support group for people going through divorce. This is a good idea if you have limited sources of support in your social circle or if you’ve found that you simply can’t share all your feelings with loved ones. Being able to discuss what you’re going through with neutral parties can be highly beneficial.
Embrace The Pain
No matter how you look at it, it’s going to be a difficult time. Don’t push away or ignore the feelings of pain and loss; this only leaves the feelings unprocessed and brings problems later. Instead, if you take the time to accept them, this will help you to cope and move on. You don’t have to do it all in one go – deal with them step by step in a consistent way, and at your own speed.