While a divorce can be a challenging time for you and your family, there are several best practices to help minimize the emotional and mental stress that you may be feeling. Here, the experienced divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss five tips to help ensure a healthy divorce.
Put Your Children First
If you have children, there is no doubt that their future is one of your top priorities as you enter into the divorce process. Divorce can be especially taxing on children, however, that does not mean it has to be the end of their relationship with either parent. In fact, children tend to do better in school and lead healthier lives when they maintain close contact with both parents after a divorce. Unless you are in a situation where your spouse has been abusive in the past or there are other serious issues (substance abuse, mental health concerns, etc.), be sure to consider how your intentional cultivation of an active and engaged co-parenting relationship as well as each child’s frequent and consistent interaction with both parents will affect your children moving forward.
Try to Resolve Financial Issues as a Team
Going through a divorce can be expensive. Child support, mediation, court fees and moving costs can all add up very quickly for both partners. One of the healthiest exercises for you and your former partner is to gather up financial documents including bank statements, tax returns, vehicle and home ownership documents and investment reports, and ensure that you both have a clear understanding as to all of the marital assets and liabilities. While a family law attorney is still an essential tool in any divorce, particularly with regard to understanding your rights with regard to the division of marital property, finding ways to manage the financial aspects of your divorce can help save both of you money in the long run.
Take Care of Yourself
The changes and emotions brought on by separation and divorce can be overwhelming. As such, it is of utmost importance to stay healthy and avoid developing unhealthy habits due to high amounts of stress. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and ensuring that you get enough sleep at night are easy ways to keep your body and mind sharp to minimize the negative effects that stress can bring. Try to avoid alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or other vices as ways to cope, as these may lead to serious health and financial issues. Instead, speak to a friend, family member or counselor about your feelings and concerns.
One of the best ways to truly take care of yourself–in a psychological sense–is to explore your interests. Give yourself a break in the form of a long weekend away, or even a short vacation from work, and reconnect with the hobbies or activities you have always been passionate about. Is there something you have always wanted to try that your now-former spouse did not support? This could be the perfect time to explore those interests and reconnect with yourself on an emotional level.
Maintain Fair and Honest Communication
One tactic in ensuring a healthy divorce is to avoid thinking of it as a battle between you and your former partner and rather, actively practice healthy communication. Sitting down to discuss key issues may not be what either of you want to do, but it is often the best and easiest way to work out the details of your new lives. While the main reason for your divorce may be the fact that you clearly disagree on certain issues–and certain outcomes may have to be decided on in court–there is great benefit to maintaining respect for each other and attempting to settle big complications without having legal mediation.
In addition, discussing issues rationally and following through on obligations you have agreed to can go a long way in maintaining respectful communication. If you do elect to sit down to discuss this new arrangement, ensure that you choose a low-stress, perhaps public, location such as a park or coffee shop. Be sure to write down important thoughts and notes ahead of time and stand by your agenda, as to not drift off-topic and let emotions get in the way of progress.
Retain an Experienced Family Law Attorney
While you and your family can do everything in your power to ensure a healthy divorce, the use of a qualified family law attorney is an indispensable tool in working through the legal aspects of divorce and and ensuring that your rights are protected. The attorneys at Rodier Family Law have years of experience in family law and are here to help you understand your rights, as well as the options available to you. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your unique situation, contact us today.