How to Have an Easy Divorce
It is understandable that the divorce process is very emotional and overwhelming for some people. It can often be hard to comprehend that the person you imagined spending the rest of your life with will not be your spouse anymore. Not only is the emotional aspect of a divorce draining, but so is navigating the confusing legal processes, splitting the assets, and figuring out how to move on with your life both financially and mentally. This is why many divorcing spouses choose counseling during this process.
Since the anxiety usually has a pattern, there are some tips that divorcing individuals can use in order to keep themselves from feeling too emotionally overwhelmed even outside of a counseling setting. It is often important to keep a level head during a divorce to help ensure you are treated fairly and receiving the things in the divorce that will make life after a little bit easier. Here are some practical, useful tips to help you not lose your mind during a divorce and make it through in one piece.
Choose the Right Attorney
Having a knowledgeable divorce attorney is a very important part of having a successful, easy divorce. While having someone with a great track record is important, so is choosing an attorney whose personality and style meshes well with yours and puts you at ease during the process. When choosing someone to represent you, do not be afraid to have initial consultations with a number of different lawyers – if you leave a consultation with an uneasy feeling, he or she may not be the one to represent you in court.
Once you find the right attorney, having him or her by your side to help navigate through the process and solve any issues should help to significantly reduce your anxiety. While you should let your lawyer handle the legal process, make sure the attorney is representing you and what you want. It is important to be present during the divorce process, discuss things with your counsel, and make sure you do not allow a pushy attorney to railroad you into doing something you don’t want to or agreeing to something you don’t agree with. The only thing more stressful than arguing with your ex is arguing with your lawyer.
Separate from Your Spouse ASAP
Once the paperwork has been filed for the divorce, it is important to separate from your spouse as soon as possible. Living with your soon-to-be-ex during a divorce proceeding can be a very painful and damaging experience for both of you and for any children that may be living in the house. The anxiety and emotional toll that a divorce can take is only heightened when the individuals are forced to interact with each other on a day-to-day basis when the relationship has already ended.
If you do have children living in the home, it is important to do your best to disrupt their lives as little as possible. Whenever possible, the children should remain in the home and follow their usual schedules. Whether or not you choose to tell them what is going on between the parents is your choice but keeping them on schedule, in their routines, and in their home can often make the divorce process much less stressful for both the parents and the children involved.
Make a Divorce Wish List
This may sound like something silly to do but it can often make all the difference when it comes to splitting marital assets. Divorcing couples often have to make decisions about who gets custody of the children, the house, the cars, the pets, and any other assets they have obtained during the time they were married. By making a list of the items you wish to have when the divorce is finalized you and your lawyer will be able to plan what may need to be done in order to make that list a reality.
Make sure to prioritize the items on your list as well, making it clear which things are most important to you. Chances are, unless you have a very amicable divorce, you will not get every single thing on your wish list. Make sure you are willing to negotiate to obtain the things you really want, such as full custody of the children, the family home, or the family dog. Lesser important items on your priority list may become bargaining chips in order to secure the higher priority items that you truly desire.
Make Time for Financial Disclosures
Many divorcing couples are unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster that filling out financial paperwork during a divorce can cause. For the spouse who was a stay at home parent or made less money, it is often a shocking reminder that they will now need to be more financially independent. For the spouse that hasn’t accepted the divorce process has begun, it can often be a painful reminder that the divorce is really happening. More often than not, this process can be very overwhelming.
While many individuals may freeze during these highly emotional times or chose to not address them at all, an effective way of handling financial disclosure paperwork is in small doses. A great way to approach these forms is to block out a series of two hour time slots dedicated to working on them. Whether it is two hours a day or two hours a week, setting aside this time to work on your financial disclosures can often help to make them manageable and stop you from becoming overwhelmed.
Take Care of Yourself
Your mental, emotional and physical state will all be tested during the divorce. In order to make sure you survive it intact and feeling good, it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Since many divorcing couples spend too much time trashing each other through texting or social media, it may be a good idea to find other, more positive things to occupy your free time. Some of these things include starting new hobbies, taking on extra responsibilities at work, or even beginning an exercise routine.
Committing to exercising is a great way to not only keep you busy but to also help reduce the stress that accompanies a divorce. When you are considering sending that nasty message to your ex about how much you dislike them, grab your running shoes and go for a jog or walk instead – this will not only help to stop you from lashing out from anger or sadness but will also help to burn calories and re-energize your body. Turning a negative into a positive is always a great way to deal with the emotions of divorce.
Regardless of how well you follow these tips, chances are they will not remove all the stress and emotions from your divorce. While they will help to reduce the anxiety many individuals feel, there is nothing wrong with being overwhelmed and wanting to just have a good cry. The most important things to do in a divorce is make sure that you are taking care of yourself, both inside and outside of the courtroom, and that your children remain the top priority for both of you.