Going through a divorce can be really hard but many marriages end this way. Nearly 20% of all first marriages end in a divorce within five years. Nearly 10% of all Americans adults are divorced. The average divorce case takes about a year to settle.
Tips to Surviving Your Divorce Case:
- Consider mediation. Many people rush out and get a divorce lawyer when a mediator might be just as good an option. In general a divorce attorney will bring out the worst in everyone where a mediator can bring out the best in people. Your divorce case may necessitate getting experienced lawyers involved but you can start out with a mediator and see if you can work things out with them. If you and your spouse recognize your marriage is over but you are not on bad terms, you may be able to file for a simple divorce and save yourselves money and the hassle.
- Really think of your children (if you have them) when you plan out a parenting plan. Everyone says they think of the children and what they really need when they are working through the issues pertaining to being a parent but not all actually do. There is a big difference between saying you are doing what is best for your kids and actually doing it. They are smarter than you think. Talk to them about what is going on. If you write out a plan and your kids are old enough, let them read it. Go over your thoughts and plans with them. Make them really be a part of the process. They will appreciate it, maybe not right away, if they can have a say in their care.
- Put everything in writing. Even the people with the best intentions can forget what was said. You will do everyone a favor if you have everything pertaining to your divorce case written down. Then when issues come up about anything you have already worked out, both parties can point to the written documentation. This also prevents “he said, she said” types of arguments later down the road.
- Have real consequences for when people do not do what they said they would. If one party does not follow through on something where they were supposed to, there should be a consequence for that. You both need to know what to expect if rules that you have agreed to are broken.
- Learn that it is ok to disagree on things. It is normal to come to decisions where you and your spouse have differences of opinion. That is very normal and ok. Devise a plan for what will happen and how you will respond to these inevitable disagreements. You can minimize how upset these disagreements make you when you have yourself in a mental space to expect them to come up.
- Try not to force a friendship with your soon be ex-spouse. Even if you are still on great terms with your spouse, you both have healing to do when a marriage ends in divorce. You need to get yourself through it and have everything worked out before you even think about developing a friendship with them. This may come in time but you both really need to heal. Wait until all of the details of your divorce case are completely ironed out before you start talking to them as you are friends.
- Try to reinforce the idea that you are still a family. After a divorce, if you have children, you can do things to show that your newly configured family is still a family. If you have no real hostility or anger at your ex-spouse and ca do things with them and your kids without a fight breaking out, doing things like going out for meals or to the movies can show them that you all are still a family. Face it, if you have kids, your spouse is always going to be a part of your life in some way or another. You can choose to make that a good thing or a bad thing.
No one wants their marriage to end in divorce but it is possible to make the experience less painful for everyone involved.