Divorce is a process that brings up intense emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and worry. While it's natural to feel overwhelmed during this period, avoiding common mistakes can help make the journey smoother and more manageable. In this blog, we'll explore some essential tips to help you avoid pitfalls and make informed decisions when going through a divorce.
1. Seek Professional Guidance
One of the most significant mistakes people make during divorce is they hire an attorney to start their divorce process. If you hire an attorney, your spouse will hire an attorney and you’ll become adversaries. You’ll be spending money on every email, phone call and court motion. In addition, attorneys typically don’t have expertise in finances or parenting. It’s much more efficient to hire an experienced divorce coach who can help you understand the divorce process and how to best utilize your attorney and other divorce professionals.
2. Understand Your Finances
Gaining a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation is crucial when going through a divorce. Take the time to gather all relevant financial documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and mortgage statements. Create a complete inventory of assets, liabilities, and debts. If your financial situation is complicated, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is a great resource to help you understand your finances. Knowing your financial standing will empower you to make informed decisions about property division and spousal support.
3. Prioritize Your Children's Well-being
Another big mistake people make is to talk to their children about the other parent in a negative way, telling them details about the divorce process or relying on them for support. Instead, make sure you shield them from all of the details of the divorce process and let them know that you’re there for them. Focus on creating a stable and nurturing environment for your children so that they can adjust in a healthy way.
4. Keep Emotions in Check
Divorce is emotionally charged, but letting your emotions drive decisions can lead to regrettable choices. Try to maintain a level head and stay as objective as possible. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you process your emotions in a healthy way.
5. Wait to Date
Going through divorce can be lonely and stressful. It’s tempting to distract yourself by starting a new relationship. But jumping into a new relationship is just going to complicate things and won’t allow you to heal or focus on your kids. It’s best to wait until you’re emotionally ready to date – which means that you’ve fully grieved the breakdown of the marriage and you’ve learned to be happy on your own for a little while. That doesn't mean that you can't go out on a date when you don't have your kids. Just take it really slow and don't get serious too soon.
6. Focus on the Future
Dwelling on the past when you’re divorcing won’t help you heal and move forward. Shift your focus to the future – what do you want in the next chapter of your life? What do you want to do differently? Set goals and create a post-divorce plan for yourself. This can include financial, career, and/or personal goals. Having a sense of purpose and direction can help you move forward with confidence and optimism.
Going through a divorce is never easy, but by avoiding common mistakes and taking a proactive and thoughtful approach, you can make the process more manageable. Seek professional guidance, prioritize your children, manage your emotions, wait to date, and focus on the future. Remember that healing takes time, and with the right support and mindset, you can emerge from this challenging chapter of your life stronger.
Jill Barnett Kaufman is a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Parent Educator and Divorce Mediator. She is an experienced professional who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges when considering divorce, starting the process of divorce or are already divorced.