There’s no such thing as an easy divorce. While some are more painful than others, going through a divorce can be incredibly draining, both emotionally and physically. What’s more painful than a divorce, though, is prolonging a marriage that is no longer sustainable. To ease the divorce process, you must be willing to be mature and give yourself as much time to heal as possible.
1. Find a lawyer
Divorce attorneys exist for a reason. They are there for you to help sort through the aftermath of deciding you want a divorce. An experienced divorce attorney will help you with getting what you’re entitled to. This could include custody, alimony, or the rights to certain items. When researching divorce attorneys, ask each candidate about their success rate in court. They should be able to provide you with convincing arguments for why you should hire them. Be sure to go over the ins and outs of your case with them as thoroughly as possible.
2. Be honest with your children
Going through a divorce is hard enough, but it’s especially difficult when you have children. How you tell them depends on their age and understanding of divorce. For very young children, it might be their first exposure to the concept. If you have older children, they might already be sensing the tension in the household. You want to be able to talk about this with your children as maturely as possible and answer any questions they might have. It will be a difficult time for everyone in the house, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get through it.
3. Decide on custody
Once the children have been told about the divorce, you need to determine how custody will be handled. If you and your ex-spouse are in the same area and only had irreconcilable differences, it should be easy to decide on joint custody. However, if there was a history of substance abuse or mistreatment, then you should fight for full custody. You have the absolute right to protect your children. There is the possibility that you will need their testimony. Make sure that they are comfortable with speaking in a courtroom setting and that they aren’t pressured into saying anything they wouldn’t.
4. Seek help
Even if the divorce goes through, you might be feeling some very negative emotions. Part of you might want to keep these feelings buried down and hope that they go away. However, you should acknowledge them as valid and realize that there is help available. Divorce therapists are trained professionals who will help you in the aftermath of a divorce. Whether you’re feeling depression, anxiety, or just an overall feeling of unwellness after a divorce, they will provide you with a sympathetic ear and strategies to cope with your negative emotions. It might be difficult to discuss these issues out loud, but it will certainly be worth it.
5. Distract yourself
Being alone with your thoughts after a divorce can put you in a dangerous predicament. As you replay moments in your head, again and again, you will likely feel further burdened by them. You need to be able to move forward. Take a few days off to visit a friend or family members from out of town. You can also try volunteering or reading a book from cover to cover. If you feel twinges of gative emotions, accept them and try your best to move on. It will take some effort, but over time, you’ll get better at it.
During a divorce, you might have a lot to reflect upon. There will be plenty of negative memories and things you wished you hadn’t done. Don’t be afraid of these thoughts, but remember to keep them in the past. It might feel like you’re at an ending, but you’re actually at a whole new beginning.