Marriages are often the start of something refreshing, new, and overall a great life experience for couples. However, as time passes on, many couples feel like they’ve hit a roadblock in their relationship and seek to remedy the situation by obtaining a divorce. Divorces can be painful, and it’s imperative you get the right amount of help in order to seek your way through it.
You might be thinking that a divorce is an extreme route to take, and wouldn’t even consider the possibility in regular circumstances. However, sometimes divorces are the right call if partners feel unhappy, are constantly arguing, or worse if there’s abuse involved. It’s not all that uncommon to divorce, either. Almost 50 percent of marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation. Knowing this can help you understand that you are not alone, and there are many sources that are geared toward helping you get through your divorce.
When to Seek Help
Divorces can bring up many negative emotions that you might not even understand at first, or are not willing to face. Some of these emotions can have a negative impact on your life, and if you feel that you are having overwhelming thoughts of hurting yourself or others, it might be time to seek professional and medical help immediately. Luckily, these feelings are extreme, and some more subtle feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even anger are all completely normal when going through a divorce. Besides getting help for your emotional well-being, a myriad of issues ranging from financial, to child custody, legal separation, and counseling, family divides, and even issues as parents will all arise at some point. Going through a divorce is never easy, so don’t assume you can go it alone. Here are 15 tips for dealing with a divorce that you can use when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Get the best legal, financial, and emotional help available to you, and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
1. Go to Couple’s Counseling
One of the best tips for dealing with divorce is to avoid having one in the first place. As simple or easy as that might sound, it is anything but. Seeking couple’s counseling can be a good first step to allowing you and your partner to work out your differences in a professional manner. Without the help of a therapist or counselor to mediate differences between the two of you, it can be difficult to distinguish simple talking from fighting. Getting help to go through traumatic or emotional issues in your relationship first and foremost can many times help repair a relationship, and work to avoid having to go through the divorce process in the first place.
2. Visit a Therapist
Sometimes, one’s own emotional issues can be a big cause for a separation or divorce. If you’re in a difficult place in life and are stressed with work, school, or mental health issues, these issues can often times wreak havoc on a relationship. A marriage has to have the full attention of both parties, and without your full involvement and attention in a relationship, you can be sure that a relationship will soon dissolve, no matter how strong it might seem. Getting counseling to get help with your mental health issues is not just great in general for your mental health, but also for your marriage. Seek therapy, medication, and other options if you need to.
3. Talk to Family
Some tips for dealing with divorce involve talking to your family about the divorce at the appropriate time. Although some couples wait until their children are older and in college to start filing and discussing divorce, you don’t have to wait this long to talk to your family about the situation at hand. Though you don’t have to involve other family members, such as in-laws, in your decision to get a divorce, at some point you will have to let extended family also know about your divorce. Luckily, sitting down and having a deep heart-felt discussion is sometimes all you need to get your family to support your decision. Find a time to have a true, honest conversation instead of springing on your divorce, and you can be sure your children will have an easier time processing this information.
4. Discuss Separation Options
One of the best tips for dealing with divorce is to find the simplest way of mediating a divorce. Sometimes, an annulment can be granted if a marriage is short-lived, and this can be a great option if you’re looking to leave a marriage quickly. Other times, an uncontested divorce can be helpful if you feel you don’t want to argue over anything, there are no children involved, and you simply want to be done with your divorce as soon as possible. A divorce lawyer can help you decide what type of divorce is best for you.
5. Obtain Police Reports
At worst, a marriage can turn from simple fighting and bickering to full-blown abuse. Abuse is never ok, and it can be easy to dismiss abusive behaviors if you yourself have been witness to abuse in the past. However, know that physical fighting, verbal, mental, and emotional abuse should never happen between you and your partner. One of the best tips for dealing with divorce is to get a copy of all police reports when you’re ready to talk to your divorce lawyer. They can get you the best legal support to not only grant you a divorce, but also grant you a restraining order, or file any other charges you feel you might need to in order to keep you and your family safe.
6. Go to a Supportive Space
Sometimes, filing for divorce can cause such an outburst from your partner, you might need to seek a safe and emotionally comforting space until your partner can settle down. This safe space can include a women’s or men’s shelter, staying with family, friends, and other relatives in order to help keep you comfortable and know you’re in a good place. Many shelters now offer abuse and other counseling services, and if you find yourself in one of these shelters, take advantage of resources before proceeding with your divorce.
7. Talk to Financial Consultants
A marriage involves a merging of people’s lives, children, and even finances. Because of this, one of the greatest tips for dealing with divorce is to speak to an accounting consulting representative. Sometimes, a divorce might lead you to walk away with your spouse’s debt, end up owing money to them, or worse yet have your accounts drained and leave you with nothing. Speaking to an accounting professional can help you minimize the risk of having to pay for unforeseen debts and other issues that might come up during your divorce. In addition, it can help you keep what’s really yours to help you jump-start your life after your divorce battle.
8. Refrain from Involving Children
With all the negativity surrounding your divorce, it could be very easy to start talking ill about your partner, especially in front of your shared children. This is always a bad idea, and can be seen as abusive in some ways by your partner. It’s important to remain amicable no matter the circumstances and to always have your child’s best interest in mind. In the long run, speaking ill of a parent can have long-lasting psychological and emotional effects on children. This, along with going through a divorce together can all prove to be stressful for a child. Therefore, one of the best tips for dealing with divorce is to refrain from involving your children in the negativity of your divorce as much as possible.
9. Value your Home Accurately
When you begin your divorce case, you will have to split up properties and financial assets between the two of you. It’s important to value your home’s worth accurately, and take into account the value of other homes around yours, the neighborhood and how it has evolved, different schools, and overall the real estate market in your area. You’ll find that when you get more than one appraisal, you can get different answers and valuations on your home. Go with the highest valuation, in order to maximize your share of the profits when your home is sold during your divorce.
10. Decide what Valuables are Non-Negotiable
A big part of the divorce will be dividing up valuables. From the beginning, it’s important to discuss with your partner what valuables you will want to take with you. This can include antiques and family heirlooms passed down through generations, wedding rings, jewelry, cars, or even old mementos that might not have much monetary value, but hold a high sentimental value. Failing to do so will result in a divorce where you can spend a high amount of money and time simply debating the material items of your divorce. Better yet, consider if it is healthy to argue over small items, and move on if you feel you are wasting too much time and energy settling over material possessions. Your well-being is always more important!
11. Talk to a Child Custody Lawyer
As we mentioned earlier, one of the best tips for dealing with divorce is to not involve children as much as possible. However, you will eventually have to speak with a child custody attorney if you feel you are in a better place, financially and emotionally, to care for your children than your partner is. Though this might seem hurtful, it’s best to talk to an attorney if you truly feel your children are in danger or could be inadequately taken care of if they stay with your ex-spouse.
12. Gather any Evidence
One of the most important tips for dealing with divorce is gathering any evidence that can help your family law attorney mediate your divorce and get you compensated fairly. Not only will evidence of abuse or infidelity help you get more monetary compensation such as alimony, it can also help with child support and even child custody as well. Gather all police reports, text messages, footage, and anything else you can gather to prove your case before a judge in court.
13. Have Life Plans Before a Divorce
Once you begin the process of divorce, it can be easy to fall into the rabbit-hole of stress and worry. To minimize your stress levels, have an action plan set in place to help you once you finish settling your divorce. Will you be getting a new job? Have you been a stay-at-home parent for a while, and now need to get into the work field? Where will you live? What will you do for income? All these questions must be answered even before you begin your divorce process, so that you can rest easy knowing you have a life after divorce. If there are any children or pets involve, put them into your plans as well, and get in touch with family and relatives to see if they are able to help you put your plans for work, school, or anything else into action.
14. Re-Write any Wills
If you wrote your ex-spouse into your will, it’s important to immediately consult with a family lawyer to make any changes. Life is never a certain thing, so one of the best tips for dealing with divorce adequately is to ensure your will is updated to reflect any changes to your wishes. Though you don’t have to write your ex-spouse completely out of your life, changing your will can help you obtain peace of mind that they won’t be entitled to as much inheritance as they once thought.
15. Update Life-Insurance Policies
Just like re-writing a will, one of the most crucial tips for dealing with divorce is updating any beneficiaries to life insurance policies. This is especially important if you are in the military and away at sea, and have your ex-spouse on your life insurance policy. Get help as soon as you are able to in order to allow your family or children to be named beneficiaries as opposed to your ex-spouse. Not doing so will result in your family seeking legal counsel to dispute any payouts. Don’t take that risk!