All married people argue. But when disagreements become the fabric of everyday life and not the exception of a mutually beneficial life together, it may be time to take different paths. The decision to get a divorce signals the end of a partnership that both people hoped would last forever. Those images of a happy, lasting family with children disappear into impending struggles over money, custody and visitation rights.
If you find yourself on this path, it is time to brace yourself for an emotionally rocky road. You'll want to make the split as smooth as possible, so preparing yourself emotionally can help you stay grounded until coming out on the other side.
Many parents are afraid that getting divorced will emotionally scar their children. The opposite may be true because the day-to-day hostilities of a bad marriage present an ongoing pattern of behavior the children may adopt and have impact their future relationships.
During the divorce process, the children are also going through an emotionally difficult time with the sudden changes to their lives and access to parents. One of the key things to prepare yourself for is to listen carefully. Children can express their stress by becoming upset about things that appear unrelated to the changes in their family. Be prepared to show empathy and not dismiss things that seem trivial too quickly.
Another important thing to keep in mind is maintaining a positive dialogue with and about the other parent. Just because you are unhappy with your ex-spouse, that doesn't mean the children are. Negative remarks undermine children's love for a parent and those remarks only harms the children in the end. Most of all, be open to talk about how divorce makes them feel. Your family is going through this together and will come out on the other side together as well.
Embrace emotional support
Divorce is a stressful process and trying to go it alone is unlikely to make you stronger. Don't fall into the feelings of isolation and take yourself out of normal social circles. This is not to say that it's time to sow your oats either. Spending time with trusted friends and family members helps control feelings of being alone or cast aside in a positive and productive fashion. Remember, you are not alone going through divorce. There are people in your life and you are making a legal change to one relationship.
There is no way around the fact that your finances will likely change in some way. Whether it is paying or receiving alimony and/or child support, having to increase work hours or just the way taxes are filed in April, things will be different. Harboring or expressing hard feelings about money is not productive to your emotional, or financial, stability. However, it is important you take the appropriate steps to ensure that you are in the best financial situation possible going forward and an experienced divorce attorney can help you plan for the coming checkbook changes.
Divorce has far-reaching life changes that require the support of friends, family and a legal professional. If you believe it may be time to file for divorce, call an experienced attorney for the advice and assistance that can help you negotiate the process.