If you're like most people, getting divorced isn't exactly your idea of a good time. But, if you do it right, it can set the stage for a happier road for you, your kids, and your ex. That said, here are some tips for helping you get through it unscathed.
1. Face it, it's approaching peak divorce season.
With the holidays around the corner, we're approaching peak divorce season. People often put off their divorce until after the holidays, and often the holidays make it clear that the marriage isn't working.
2. Set the tone for a good divorce.
No matter who ended the marriage or why, it's important to keep the drama under wraps. Be rational and try to treat each other with decency and respect. Start a conversation by saying: "I'm sorry our marriage isn't working and it's sad. But we have children and we have to get along for the next 10 years or so, so we should make it comfortable for the sake of the kids."
3. Understand that it takes time.
Divorce is a big blow; giving each other time to accept the divorce is crucial. If you're the one that wants out, you have to be patient. If you've been thinking about it for some time, give your spouse some time to get to the same place.
4. Consider divorce mediation.
Many divorce experts agree that a divorce attorney who is a professional mediator is a better choice for settling a divorce than a sharky lawyer who only adds stress to an already stressful situation. We suggest that couples work out property division and child custody arrangements with a mediator, assuming that domestic violence is not a factor.
The legal system is a place for fighting, and you want to avoid that at all costs.
5. Don't involve the kids.
Children deserve to be kids, they should not be treated as pawns or prizes. Unless one parent is an alcoholic, a drug addict, child abuser or pedophile, children need to have two loving parents actively involved in their lives.
Don't use your children to pass messages between you. Instead, communicate through e-mail. Not the phone or in person where little ears can overhear you.
6. Take care of yourself.
There's no candy-coating it – divorce is going to affect you physically. Whether you experience anxiety, grief, shame, depression, or insomnia, it's par for the course. Resist the urge to drown your sorrows in the bottle or overindulge in unhealthy foods.
Take care of yourself by going to bed earlier, taking up a new exercise routine, treating yourself to the movies or getting a massage. Remember, what your child needs most is for you to be okay and strong. You can't fool your kids.
For more divorce tips, contact our office to schedule an appointment with our Encino divorce attorney who is a Board Certified family law specialist!