Managing a divorce/separation
Choosing to end a relationship or having this decision forced on you is most stressful and affects many areas of your life.
It is essential that whilst the process is ongoing you try to relax as much as possible and focus on yourself and the future.
Below are some of my suggestions for ways of handling your stress during this often anxious and trying period.
- Pay attention to your emotional needs
It is a good idea to talk to a divorce counsellor or to attend meetings in a support group. Talking to a professional can help you to understand and accept your emotions.
- Know and understand your rights
It is essential that all the questions that have been niggling you, possibly concerning your finances and that of any children involved, are answered immediately. A lawyer specialising in family law will be able to do this efficiently and cost effectively. Most family law experts adhere to a certain code of practice which emphasises that animosity should be avoided and cases should be dealt with amicably. Once an expert lawyer has answered your queries you will be able to focus on the future and what you want to achieve in terms of financial security and care arrangements for the children. Such an expert will ensure that correct procedures are followed and that matters are concluded as soon as possible. Your expectations will be managed efficiently and realistically, meaning that a lot of conflict will be avoided.
- Avoid Conflict
There is no “winner” in a divorce/separation case, unlike other litigation. It is important that you wish to achieve, and try to achieve this, through negotiation rather than through the Courts. Many couples now prefer to use mediation as a way of reaching an agreement on all issues arising from separation. Remember, during mediation you can always talk to your lawyer in between meetings to ensure that you reach fair and reasonable settlement. If the thought of being alone in a room with your ex-partner fills you with dread, or you simply cannot communicate with him/her, then there is another alternative available before considering litigation – Collaborative Law. During the collaborative process each party’s lawyer is present at all meetings arranged and assists with negotiation at round table meetings. Both mediation and collaboration avoid the need for costly and animistic Court proceedings which can be highly stressful. Further, resolving matters in this manner means that the lines of communication between a couple are kept open, which is imperative, especially if children are involved.
- Ensure that any children involved remain the focal point
Looking after the children’s interests is often the only thing that a separated couple have left in common with one another. By ensuring that the children’s emotional and physical needs are considered as of paramount importance the couple will be able to agree on many issues, and this will consequently mean that minimum damage is caused to the child’s emotional welfare.
- Keep physically fit
Stay as active as possible. Nothing helps our emotions bounce back better than physical activity. It will help in relieving anger, tension and anxiety.
- Make time for fun
Remember to laugh and play. Schedule activities that bring you pleasure and participate in them regularly. Maintain a close circle of friends and socialise often. Do not isolate yourself from others.
A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event. The above are just some useful tips to consider when living through this anxious and tense period. When you are going the emotional wringer and dealing with major life changes it is more important than ever to take care of yourself, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Learning to take care of yourself and surrounding yourself with the correct support network is essential. This can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a divorce or separation. As you feel the emotions of your loss and begin learning from your experience, you can resolve to take better care of yourself and make positive choices going forward.
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