Come December, and everyone starts talking about all the marvelous plans they’ll focus on when that clock strikes midnight. From starting a new fitness routine, changing up their diet, all the way to quitting smoking, many people take their resolutions quite seriously – but what about quitting a toxic relationship in your life? When you know that your marriage is not just under a lot of strain from all those uncomfortable family get-togethers during the holidays, but you’ve been pondering over this decision for months, getting a divorce might be your number one priority for this year, and a healthy one at that.
However, the stressful, oftentimes painful decision comes with so many responsibilities, especially when you have kids with your spouse, so you should be very careful every step of the way. To preserve your wellbeing, make sure your kids are coping well, and your rights are protected, and follow these key steps when you’re about to end your marriage.
Most marriages start after years of building a bond based on emotions, love, and shared aspirations. When you finally decide that your ways are parting, you will also be overwhelmed by an avalanche of emotions, from relief, sadness, anger, all the way to guilt. All of these emotions are perfectly natural, but you shouldn’t announce your decision in the heat of any of these emotions – give yourself time to process them first.
If necessary, you can talk to a healthcare professional, or your therapist, to see how you can best manage your feelings, express them, and put them aside when it’s time to deal with the legal aspect of the entire process.
In addition to being an emotional decision, getting a divorce is also a legal process, one which requires legal guidance. For starters, find an expert in family law you can trust with your situation and make an appointment to ask all the questions that come to mind so that you can understand the divorce process step by step. Your legal representative will also be able to tell you all about your rights and the best way to move forward with your particular case.
Family law differs from one state to another, and you should never leave your situation to chance. With the right legal help, you can make sure your kids get the necessary financial support, determine who will take care of your family pets, and you’ll be able to determine your rights in any property ownership disputes.
As many will agree, a healthy divorce is always a better option than an unhealthy marriage. However, your kids will need time, help, and guidance to process this event in their life, so as not to feel guilt, shame, or confusion, all of which are common emotions kids will feel when they discover their family unit is about to change for good.
Older kids are often able to talk it through with their parents, but younger kids might need some help from a therapist. Perhaps scheduling a few sessions would be beneficial, so as to prevent pent-up negativity, and simply help your kids recognize and express their emotions, without building up any resentment towards either of the parents.
Getting a divorce can be amicable, or it can get messy, it all depends on your family relationships, your spouse, and after all, the reason you’re getting divorced to begin with. In any scenario, you want to make sure that you have the right emotional support during this stressful period, both from your family and your friends.
Remember, it’s not about “taking sides”, but it’s about socializing, sharing with people you trust, and being able to process your emotions with people that care about you. Even if you’re the one that wanted the divorce, you’re ending a long-lasting relationship that shaped your life to a great extent. You’re entitled to emotions, hence the need for support.
Divorce is so much more than a signature on a piece of paper resolving you of any legal obligations towards your former spouse. It’s an ending and a beginning, it’s a decision that will completely shift your perspective and your routine will never be the same. Do you want to stay in your home or move into a new place? Do you have a source of income and will you be financially stable after divorce?
What will this mean for your relationship with your former spouse and shared responsibilities regarding your kids? All of these details are not something that only your legal representatives will take care of. In fact, your input is more than valid, and you need to be able to greet your divorce with the level of stability your kids will need and your own wellbeing will require.
The New Year might be the perfect time to start something, but it’s equally perfect to end things that are not making you happy, your marriage included. In fact, why not flip the angle and start thinking of your divorce as the beginning of something new, unknown, and potentially brilliant? Take your time, brace yourself, and make sure that you’re legally covered, so that you can process everything and actually enjoy the feeling of a new beginning that will soon ensue.