I get several calls a week from folks asking me for help with their divorce. The stress that goes along with a trial separation and divorce can be overwhelming at times. Many feel they are going to lose their sanity at times while others seem to sail right through the divorce process and then suffer with the emotional fallout in the end. How do you manage your life during the divorce process?
When your world is crashing around you and your life seems out of control, what can you do? I recommend you take a time out even if it’s for 15 minutes. Put your mind at rest, stop with the paper work, turn off the phone, turn off the TV or radio then sit back close your eyes and relax. Once you have taken a few minutes to relax you can then refocus and set your priorities. Many times my clients get bogged down on insignificant issues that take valuable time away from the real issues.
To regain your sanity I recommend the following:
1. Prioritize by date. Make a list of things that have to be done in a certain time period.
2. Have all the necessary paper work separated in individual files (taxes, bills, credit card receipts, bank statements, retirement plans.)
3. Make an itemized list of your expenses.
4. Don’t wait till the last minute to get things done. Plan well in advance and stick with a due date to complete action items.
People get themselves into trouble when they wait until the last minute to fill out paper work, procrastinate making phone calls to obtain critical information and some even avoid turning in proper paper work to the courts and lawyers. I see this a great deal with divorce cases and it causes undue stress!
Another area where you can help yourself is to avoid poking your soon-to-be-ex in the eye. It’s important to avoid all arguments and disagreements if possible. Arguing only creates division in your divorce. If you need help settling disputes make sure you have the issues written down and contact a mediator to help resolve the problems. The less stress that you put on yourself the better you will feel will ultimately be able to communicate your wishes in a calm and orderly fashion.
Avoid the temptation of holding grudges! Just let it go. You don’t need to bring up the past to prove your point. I have seen more clients end up paying huge lawyer fees because of unending bickering. Stop fighting with each other and stop making unreasonable requests. Be as agreeable as you can. Yes, divorce is traumatic to everyone involved and that includes you your ex and your children.
I am reminded of a couple that I counseled that literally fought over a gravy bowl! One claimed that her grandmother had given it to her as an heirloom and she wasn’t going to budge an inch! That gravy bowl issue was an expensive part of the divorce. The lawyers were brought in and the matter had to be settled in court. Even the judge was angry about it. Does this happen in divorces? Yes it does!
In my opinion its best to do everything you can to maintain your sanity at all cost. Be prepared for whatever may come. Plan ahead and stay the course. After all, peace in your life is your goal so why not start now!