Managing a divorce involves decisions about finances, childcare, property division, and how to rebuild your life. While the legal details of your divorce are a large part of what you are going through, they are far from being everything you must face. The emotions you will experience range from anticipation of freedom to despair over the end of a relationship.
Divorce is often referred to as the most traumatic experience that someone can go through besides dealing with the death of a loved one. How you get through the process can determine what your life is like after the divorce. One of the roles of a family law attorney is to counsel clients going through challenging times. The attorneys at Terry & Roberts offer five steps for dealing with emotions during and after a divorce.
1. Build a Support Network
When you are going through a divorce, you need a strong support network of people who can listen and talk to you. You’ll feel every emotion you’ve ever known, along with some you may never have felt. Your network doesn’t have to be large, but it should include people who can listen and be helpful.
You are likely feeling rushed and worried, trying to handle everything all at once. Speaking with friends can help you slow down and take some time to think about your decisions clearly. When you know you can call someone in the middle of the night to talk about your fears, it can make dealing with the stress more manageable.
You may be stuck in an endless feedback loop in your own head, feeling unable to make the right decisions. Just having someone to listen to you can help you through the bad days when your mind may not be in a good place. Make sure you limit your support network to those people who actually constructively support you. These individuals can help you identify things you may not have considered.
2. Get Professional Help
In addition to relying on loved ones for support, many people will turn to a professional. Seeing a therapist during a divorce is in no way a sign of weakness. On the contrary, admitting that you need extra help is a sign of strength. It means that you recognize that you cannot manage the emotional burdens alone and that you are smart enough to get someone to guide you.
In many cases, it’s beneficial to speak with a licensed counselor or therapist. While your friends and family may be very supportive, they probably lack training in how to approach dealing with your emotions. A professional is also impartial and won’t let their personal feelings about your soon-to-be ex-spouse influence their recommendations. They will stay calm and won’t rile you up further.
Going through a divorce alone can lead to problems such as anxiety and depression. Being able to rely on friends and loved ones, along with appropriate professionals, can help you manage the process. A counselor can give you strategies for coping with this large change in your life. They could help you change the way you are seeing the divorce and how you are handling things. If your health insurance covers mental health care, there is little to lose and everything to gain from seeing a therapist during the divorce process and afterward.
3. Focus on the Task at Hand
Perhaps even greater than getting married, going through a divorce is a major life change. You shouldn’t try to make any other life changes at the same time. It can be overwhelming to try to plan far into the future and you do not need to have it all planned out. You shouldn’t try to since all you really need to do is focus on getting through each step, one at a time, until the divorce is complete.
Trying to do too much at once can leave you in a panic. The present is where you must focus your energies. You should have a belief that things will be better in the future once you get through the divorce process. You can speak with a licensed therapist for techniques to manage your worry and stress.
A compassionate and experienced divorce attorney will also have the skills to talk you through the times when you feel frustrated or frightened. They can help you focus on making logical choices regarding child custody and support, property division, and other critical decisions for your best interests in the future.
4. Do Not Make Any Other Major Life Decisions
Some people get preoccupied with the idea of moving on and making a fresh start. They may decide to move to a different state, cut their hair in a dramatically different fashion, or make some other big life choice. These decisions are often made from a place of panic instead of one of strength.
When you make these decisions while something as important and life-changing as a divorce is going on, there’s a much greater chance you could make a mistake. While a questionable haircut will eventually grow out, moving to another state and complicating child visitation decisions can have much longer-lasting effects. It’s critical that you get the divorce worked out first, to the highest benefit of everyone involved, especially the children, before you contemplate anything else.
Again, relying on a professional counselor and a divorce lawyer with years of experience can help you avoid making mistakes you could regret. Stay in the present moment as much as possible, and give yourself time to get through the divorce before moving to the next chapter of your life. As much as possible, show yourself the same compassion and grace you would give to a friend going through the same situation.
5. Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
It may seem counterintuitive that an attorney can help you emotionally. You typically hire them for their legal skill and negotiation prowess. However, you need to consider exactly what your divorce attorney does as part of the divorce process. They are there to handle the details and put their years of experience to work for you.
Consider what may happen if you do not have a divorce lawyer working for you. Every day would be spent wading into the negotiations and the back-and-forth with your spouse. You would not be able to take care of yourself emotionally because you would be immersed in stress and potential conflict.
Hiring an attorney frees up some of your mental and emotional bandwidth so you can take care of yourself and your children. While working with a family law firm may not take away all of your stress, it can provide a crucial layer of insulation for you. Your divorce attorney will work on the details and manage the communications with your spouse’s lawyer.
Learn More About Getting Through a Divorce Today
At Terry & Roberts, we understand how difficult and emotionally draining a divorce can be for everyone involved. Our Pearland divorce attorneys are dedicated to ensuring the best outcome for your situation, including your health, beyond figuring out the legal complexities.
We focus on ensuring our clients have the information, support, and tools they need to manage their divorce proceedings in a rational and healthy way. Our divorce lawyers put their skills to work so you can concentrate on taking care of yourself and your family. We help you put the divorce behind you as soon as possible, conducting negotiations for your best interests for the years to come. Instead of thinking only of today, our attorneys help you consider your needs for the future.
To learn more about how we can help you get through your divorce, schedule a consultation to speak with one of our Pearland divorce attorneys. We can answer your questions about dividing assets, providing for children, and ensuring your rights are protected. We won’t let the other side take advantage of you. Contact our office today for more information on how we can assist you.