Divorce is unpredictable. For many, divorce is like a death; you feel the loss and can become filled with grief. The first step you must take is to learn to accept that the marriage is over for a reason and simply not meant to be any longer. You can be decent to one another and move on with your life knowing that this is a movement for change and change for the better.
- Take it slow. Take every step a little slower. Don’t jump into another relationship too soon. No matter the age of the children, this is a confusing time and there are some raw wounds, no matter how “good” the divorce. Let the focus be on the family transition first.
- Be open to visitation time. Spend time with your children on weekdays and weekends. Being a part of their weekday routine keeps you involved in their everyday life and makes for deeper connections.
- Use face-to-face communication. When possible, have face time with your ex and keep your contact with your children in person.
- Take every opportunity to be with your children. Put aside differences with your ex to be with your children, regardless if it is your parenting “time” or not. Be there for the first day of school, recitals, and birthday parties. Make yourself just as available to your children as you would prior to the divorce.
- Use mediation whenever possible. Costly litigation rarely benefits any party involved. Attorneys are useful for certain types of divorce, but in most part, they are usually the only ones that come out ahead. Mediation is an excellent way to fairly finalize the dissolution of your marriage and allow all parties to more quickly move on with their lives.
- Keep your chin up. Divorce is a true lesson in life. Swallow your pride when you have to for the good of the situation and remember that the misery may seem unbearable in the moment, but time DOES heal all wounds. Talk or Cry it out and keep your support system close.
- Mutual Parenting Plan. Before having a court install your parenting plan, see if you can come up with a mutual plan with your ex and keep it in the very best interest of your kids. On their behalf, work as a team from the beginning.
- Get it in writing. No matter how good the relationship is with your ex, get everything in writing…so nobody “forgets” the agreements. Especially with issues of money and parenting, make sure everyone involved has a copy of the agreements in writing.
- Don’t repeat old habits. If there is any good part of divorce, it is that you no longer have to live with issues and habits from the marraige. Stay away from old patterns with your partner and above all stay away from “comfort” of divorce sex.
- Participate as a newly re-organized family. If possible, make time to get together as a family. Show your children you still care about one another. Show them early on that they still have two parents who love them and will remain a family even if the marriage will not be a part of it.
Divorce, undoubtedly, can be one of the most stressful times in your life. Take good care of yourself – hard as that may be. Start new habits, classes you always wanted to take, foods you wanted to try, movies, music, TV shows, vacations – it is all a blank slate, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Start your new life the way YOU want to live it.