Ten Practical Things to Remember When Going Through a Divorce
- Make sure you're physically safe. Courts can issue restraining orders and protective orders, but they're just pieces of paper. If you feel that you and/or your children are physically unsafe, call the authorities.
- Take care of yourself physically. Find a way to release stress, move your body, and clear your mind.
- Acknowledge and work through your feelings. The more you push your emotions away, the more powerful and overwhelming they become.
- Find an attorney who fits your style and personality. Remember, you're the boss.Your attorney should tell you your options, explain the consequences and costs of each choice, then let you decide what to do next.
- Get very clear on how you will pay your living expenses when you are no longer married. If you need education, find out where to get it, how long it will take and how much it will cost. If you need to change jobs or get a job, do that before you are desperate for money, if possible. Learn as much as you can about your financial situation before you separate. Make copies of old records, go through the files, consult your accountant.
- Treat the financial aspects of your divorce as a business decision. Cut your losses, optimize your gains.
- Join or create a support group. Family, friends, church members, colleagues, neighbors—anyone except your children. There are churches, therapists, and other professionals who run divorce support groups. Find the same thing for your children. Many school counselors run ongoing groups for students whose parents are divorced or divorcing.
- Look at the big picture. It is easy to get caught up in small matters that are irritating now, but that won't make a difference to your life in the long run. Don't sweat the small stuff.
- Encourage your children to have a positive relationship with their other parent. When they go to his or her house, tell them to have a good time. Don't talk bad about the other parent to the children or in front of the children.
- Avoid doing anything that you don't want your spouse to know about. Chances are, he or she will find out one way or another. Live up to your own standards. The right thing to do is the right thing to do, regardless of how anyone else is acting.