It’s Your Choice

Most people enter a divorce lawyer’s office and promptly say, “I never expected to be here.”  The divorce statistics, however, establish that there’s a good chance you will find yourself needing help.  More than 48 percent of marriages dissolve by the 20-year mark.  Those numbers increase significantly for 2nd and 3rd marriages.  So how can you maintain your sanity, your health, and your life during the divorce process?

Be kind to yourself.

The end of a marriage carries with it a lot of different emotions including anger, grief, anxiety, and fear.  You need support.  Getting help from a psychologist or a licensed mental health counselor can help you get a grip and focus on your well-being. People who are kind and compassionate to themselves have a much easier time managing the challenges of the divorce process.

You have choices.

Courthouse litigation is not the only way to approach your divorce. Divorce mediation and collaborative law divorce are both out-of-court solutions that can be beneficial to you and your family.   Cooperate and communicate with each other as much as possible.  Be organized and assertive with your communication to your spouse and to your lawyer.   You are the only one that can fully communicate your needs during your divorce.

Focus on the kids.

Divorce can be traumatic for children, especially if their parents remain in high conflict.  It’s helpful to the children if you and your spouse can come up with a plan on how and when to tell them that you and your spouse are divorcing.  Have honest conversations with them about the changes that will be occurring such as when a parent is moving out and another home is being established.  Take a divorcing parent education class as soon as possible so that you are in the best position to understand the issues that you and your children are facing.

Find your support.

The many decisions that you must make in your divorce require you to put together the best support you can find.  Tap into your support network of friends and family for emotional support.  If you don’t have a counselor, consider getting one – they can be a life line when you need it most.  Finally, make sure you have given careful consideration to selecting a divorce attorney.  That may be the single most important choice you make for a healthy divorce.

Just breathe, you’ve got this.