Every year, more than 787,000 divorces take place throughout the United States. Have you and your spouse decided to go your separate ways?
If so, you’re not alone. Keep in mind, too, that divorce (while never easy) doesn’t always have to be nasty and contentious. Read on for some divorce planning tips that will help you get through the process in the easiest and most amicable way possible.
Choose a Blame-Free Divorce
When you’re getting a divorce, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to assign blame. If you want your divorce to be an amicable one, though, it’s best if you and your spouse can both agree that you’re going to say that neither party is to blame.
If you take a blame-free approach, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of contention. You’ll get to save time, too, and will be able to get the whole process wrapped up sooner. This allows you to get out there and start your life over.
Accept That It Will Be Difficult
Even when you decide to have a blame-free divorce, remember that divorce is never easy and 100 percent straightforward. As soon as you and your spouse decide to file for divorce, accept that this period of your life is going to be a difficult one.
Once you accept this, it’ll be easier for you to approach obstacles that arise with a level head. You likely won’t always keep your cool or be without bad days, of course. You’ll be less surprised when things go wrong or take longer than you’d thought, though.
It’s understandable that you might want to check out during the divorce.
At first, you might be content to be a mere observer as your spouse or someone else takes care of the proceedings and handles the difficult aspects for you. If you take this approach, though, there’s a good chance that you’ll have way less control over the outcome than you’d like.
Divorce is a big deal, and it’s going to change almost every aspect of your life. It might be hard, but you should do your best to be an active participant in these events.
Approach with a Positive Attitude
This doesn’t mean false cheeriness or ignorance about the gravity of the situation. It just means that you should try to approach the process with faith that things will work out and get wrapped up quickly. Don’t be naive (you still need to be an active and informed participant), but don’t assume the worst of your spouse or the outcome of the divorce, either.
Focus on Your Children
If you have children, make sure they’re getting the attention and affection they need during this difficult time. Divorce is hard on everyone, but it’s especially hard on children, regardless of their age.
Spend as much time with your kids as you can and talk to them openly (but appropriately) about what’s going on and what they can expect moving forward. The more reassurance your kids get, the easier it’ll be for them to cope with the fact that their parents are separating.
Think About the Future
You need to be present during the divorce, but you also need to spend some time thinking about the future. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for safety and security after the divorce is final. Think about where you’re going to live, how you’re going to sustain your lifestyle, and what changes you might need to make to keep your kids’ lives as stable as you can.
When you’re getting a divorce, you might feel overwhelmed and want to put these things off. That won’t serve you (or your family) well in the long run, though.
Go to Therapy
Everyone who’s involved in the divorce should go to therapy. This means you, your spouse, and your kids. You might not be able to force your spouse into therapy, of course, but you can make sure that you and your kids are seeing a professional to talk about the situation.
Having someone to listen to your concerns can help you stay present through the divorce and get through it in a (mostly) pain-free way. Going to therapy also gives your kids a safe place to talk about their feelings and get advice moving forward.
Take Care of Yourself
In addition to seeing a therapist, you should also take care of yourself in other ways during this difficult period. Eat healthy food, limit your alcohol consumption, and exercise on a regular basis. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, too.
Taking good care of your body and mind via these practices will help you feel your best as you go through your divorce. It’ll help you show up for your kids in the best way, too.
Wait to Date
You might be chomping at the bit to get out there and start dating again, especially if you and your spouse have been distant for a long time. As much as you might want to start, though, it’s best to wait to date until after your divorce is finalized.
If you start to date before things are wrapped up, that could have a negative effect on your spouse. It could even cause them to be more emotional (and perhaps ask for more than is fair).
Seek Legal Counsel Early
If you’re planning to have an amicable divorce, there’s a good chance you can get through it without having to hire a lawyer. You and your spouse can work with a mediator to divide everything in a way that seems fair to both of you.
It’s still helpful to talk to a lawyer early on, though, and find out what your options are. This helps you get a clear idea of what you’re entitled to as well.
Try These Divorce Planning Tips Today
Going through a divorce is always challenging. If you keep these divorce planning tips in mind, though, it’ll be easier for you and your spouse to have an amicable divorce and move on with your lives.
Do you want to learn more about getting through a divorce or helping your kids to cope with the changes they’re about to experience? If so, visit the Parenting section of our website today for more helpful resources.