The way in which a divorce progresses is broadly dependent on the way in which the couple approaches it. In other words, the divorce process can be as easy or as difficult as you make it unless, of course, there are other factors such as family violence or abuse involved.
If the relationship ended by mutual agreement, it’s easier to go into the process with a positive mindset and every intention of remaining amicable, but if one party doesn’t want the divorce in the first place, it can take longer and be fraught with anger and emotion.
Having an amicable divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be best of friends afterward, but here are a few things that, if you can keep in mind throughout the process that may make it smoother.
One of the main reasons the divorce process can take a turn for the worse is when one party lets the hurt of the divorce take over.
Try to remember that even though you may not be the instigator, you need to avoid the ‘blame game’ and both of you need to take responsibility to move forward.
It’s not only better for your mental wellbeing if you can try and put emotions to the side while you deal with the practicalities, but complicating matters solely for the purposes of revenge or spite can hurt in terms of money spent in court in the end.
If you feel yourself constantly disregarding your lawyer’s advice, or feeling like your lawyer isn’t taking your position, it is important to reevaluate if your position is reasonable in the eyes of law, or you are truly dealing with legal counsel who is not advocating on your behalf.
This can be true on both sides, the instigator of the divorce might have feelings of guilt take over and make agreements to financial commitments that are unfair and can have repercussions for years to come.
The party on the receiving end perhaps retaliates with decisions that aren’t in the best interests of anyone but makes them feel as though they’re punishing the ‘guilty’ party.
When emotions are running high, following infidelity for example, the temptation might be there to publicly shame for example on social media.
Not only could this land the person in trouble legally, but taking a moment to evaluate who might see it (children potentially) and what it’s going to achieve, may make you think twice before pressing the ‘post’ button.
It’s common to see people using children to punish an ex too, by deciding to deny access to the other parent, grandparents, or extended family. Remember that this ultimately hurts the children and to consider what historically taken place and what is in the child’s best interest.
It’s not uncommon to feel isolated from friends and family during a divorce as there may be some people who don’t really know what to say, or do, and others who may avoid the situation completely. Others may try and keep both parties happy but may end up caught in the middle of a warring couple.
On the other hand, there may also be lots of well-meaning family members who give you advice based on their experiences. However, be mindful that each situation is different, and you have to do what’s best for you.
You can’t support your children through a divorce if you don’t care for and take time for yourself.
Your instinct might be to close yourself off and give up on doing activities that you used to love, but retaining a level of normality and carrying on with these things may keep your mind off the negative.
Prioritize the basics – eating, sleeping and working, and if you can fit in some exercise, that may also help to reduce your stress.
It’s important to also let other people know what’s going on. Your employer will no doubt notice a change in your behaviour and potentially your productivity level, but most will be understanding of your situation if you’re upfront about it.
Make sure to have someone you can talk to if you’re struggling and give yourself time to come to terms with it.
Keeping lines of communication open can benefit in many ways. A mediator may be the best person to help progress things if negotiations are failing, or a Collaborative Family Lawyer; before you seek out a family law litigator.
If you think you’re going to need help, talk to us. We can help guide you through the process.