DIVORCE: IT’S NOT EASY, NO MATTER HOW IT GETS DONE!
A divorce is often one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, the other two most commonly being the death of a loved one and a residential move. There are three layers to a divorce:
- The Emotional Divorce,
- The Social Divorce, and
- The Legal Divorce.
The Emotional Divorce
While there is an emotional nature to any divorce, some are driven by these emotions. Divorces driven by emotions such as anger, pain, resentment, distrust or punishment, are often cases that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and you spend years in court. The recovery time of these kinds of cases can range from 2 years to several years.
To avoid this result, don’t be afraid to seek out counseling. Try to focus on being respectful to one another and helping your children through it while you are helping yourself.
The Social Divorce
Friends sometimes choose sides, which can add an additional level of hurt feelings, pain or resentment.
The Legal Divorce
This consists of the legal court filings and the marital settlement agreement, which is the contract that governs each party’s rights and responsibilities.
GETTING THROUGH IT
With mediation, you can lessen the stress of the divorce, but here are some other ways you can navigate this new normal you are creating:
- Find a counselor who you trust for yourself, and for your children too.
- Pay attention to your physical health (sleep, diet & exercise).
- Discover yourself – increase your activity level and find new interest, figure out who you are as an individual rather than a couple.
- Give yourself, your children, your family and friends time to go through the grieving process and heal (disbelief, anger, bargaining, denial and acceptance).
FOCUS ON YOUR CHILDREN
- Read about what they need at their age or seek out an expert.
- For the sake of your children, rise above the conflict and agree with your spouse upon age appropriate time-sharing.
- Ensure the children understand that the divorce is not their fault and understand that their perception on the events will change as they grow and they may need your help multiple times over the years to truly understand.
- Don’t make your children choose between you two or take sides & don’t question them about the other parent.
Regardless of how you decide to split, there is no “easy” way. That being said, respect goes a long way in making the process easier. Divorce does not need to be a war.
Previously in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: What Happens in Mediation?
Next in the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series: Can Your Divorce be Mediated?
Click here for a Full Summary of the Preparing for Divorce Mediation Series.