Getting a divorce is never easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be harder than it needs to be. Whether you’re parting ways amicably or you’re dealing with a contentious separation, there are things you can do to make sure the process of getting divorced goes as smoothly as possible.
Keep Your Cool
It’s normal to feel angry and upset if you’re getting a divorce. You just want to make sure that you channel that anger and disappointment in the right way.
You do not want to lash out at your spouse, even if you think they deserve it. Not only will they want to make things as difficult as possible for you during the divorce, but you could find yourself in serious trouble. You can experience legal repercussions of a harassing phone call, with even worse possibilities for in-person and/or physical altercations.
Strive to keep your cool while you’re talking to your soon-to-be ex-spouse and you’ll find that your divorce goes much more smoothly.
Learn More About the Divorce Process
The divorce process can be confusing, which only adds to the frustration you’re probably already feeling. You can gain greater peace of mind when you understand the process a little better. It also has the potential to take some of the pressure off so that your communications with your ex are more pleasant.
You’ll want to look into whether or not you might need a temporary court order or what legal reasons you might want to state on your divorce papers.
You’ll definitely want to look into how long it could take. When you know your situation is going to take months and not weeks, you’re less likely to get frustrated when things seem to be going slowly.
Hiring a lawyer or a mediator can help. They can tell you what to expect, and they can answer your questions.
Feeling like you’re flying by the seat of your pants during your divorce can be very stressful. Learning about the process helps, but it also helps if you spend time getting organized.
That might mean organizing evidence if you’re filing for an at-fault divorce due to something like substance abuse or abandonment.
Mostly, it means getting your finances prepared for your divorce. That means doing things like tracking your current expenses and forecasting future expenses, but it also means gathering the right documentation like:
- Bank account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Loan statements
- Credit card statements
- Recent pay stubs
- List of personal and shared assets
- Recent income tax returns
The more complete your records are, the better off you’ll be. Only by knowing the full truth of your situation can an attorney protect you and your assets.
Let Friends and Family Support You Through the Process
Going through a divorce can bring feelings of shame and disappointment. It’s easy to brush it under the rug and act like everything is okay because you don’t want to burden your loved ones with your divorce, but that’s a bad idea.
Your friends and family want to help you, and you need their help. Having a support system can make getting through all the twists and turns of a divorce a lot easier.
Helping you doesn’t have to be burdensome or time-consuming either. Simply going out for lunch or talking on the phone may be all it takes for you to get the support you need to weather your divorce.
If you don’t have a strong support system, consider joining a divorce support group. It’s a great way to meet new friends who can support you through your divorce, especially since they are going through a similar experience.
See a Therapist
Having a personal support network can be hugely helpful for getting through a divorce, but sometimes you need help from a professional.
That’s where seeing a therapist comes in.
Therapy can help you work through the mentally, physically, and financially demanding process of getting a divorce. A trusted professional can arm you with the skills you need to get through it.
Individual therapy is always an option, but you may also want to consider couples therapy. Even if you’re getting a divorce, going to therapy together can help you work through issues in a constructive way.
Therapy can be especially helpful if you have children, whether they meet alone with a therapist or they meet with one or more of their parents. It gives them the ability to work through their feelings so the divorce is less stressful and confusing for them.
Do Something That Allows You to Achieve a State of Flow
It’s easy to feel muddled down by your divorce every moment of every day, but that isn’t good for your mental health. It’s important to take a mental break from your divorce, and one of the best ways to do that is to achieve a state of flow.
Being in a flow state simply means being so absorbed in something that you forget about everything else. What brings about that state is different for everyone. It may take some trial and error to find something that makes you forget about your divorce, if only for a little while.
Some things you can try include:
- Playing sports
- Putting a puzzle together
- Painting or doing something else artistic
- Watching movies
Focus on Big-Picture Goals
It’s easy to get caught up in the short-term situation of your divorce, but it’s important to remember your big-picture goals. For example, if your ultimate goal is for you and your children to be happier, you might want to think twice about blowing up at your ex-spouse over who gets what.
Focusing on your big-picture goals can also help you gain clarity about what’s actually important. It helps you play the long game, which in turn, will help you get through your divorce more easily.
A divorce is only as contentious as you make it. There are things you can do to gain greater peace of mind throughout the process so your divorce goes more smoothly.