Setting Yourself Up for Success after Divorce

Police emergency light & conesWe represent spouses going through divorces and the many legal issues that may arise afterward. A divorce can be traumatic and a person may see it as an end to one phase of their life. But it’s also a new beginning, an opportunity to start over and make the most of the rest of your life.

An article on the WebMD website has some practical advice for those starting over after a divorce.

1. Seek Out a Support Network

There may not be a single strategy to ease the pain and loss that divorce brings. But leaning on a support network can be a critical strategy to help you start over.

This can help you emotionally, but also with practical issues. You may find yourself being a single parent for the first time. You want to be strong for your children, but trying to juggle a full-time job while being a full-time parent can be stressful and exhausting, especially if you have more than one child or if they are young or have special needs. You may want to seek out others in a similar situation, talk to your pediatrician, take advantage of school resources and get to know teachers and school administrators.

Hopefully your relationship with your ex-spouse is healthy enough so that he or she can be relied upon for help when necessary.

2. Redefine Yourself

Going through a divorce means no longer being part of a couple. This can be seen as a relief or frightening. Give yourself time to explore what you want and need in the future. Be constructive, not destructive, and take up new hobbies or activities and develop new interests to expand who you are. Doing something physical like exercise, gardening, biking or hiking may help you work off stress and meet new people.

3. Minimize the Impact on the Kids

While coping with the breakup of a marriage can be painful, that pain should be limited as much as possible for your children. Ex-spouses should try to make the new situation as positive as possible. Avoid criticizing the other parent in front of the children. Engaging in a “scorched earth” policy concerning your ex may result in younger children showing regressive behavior, like bed-wetting, and older children and teenagers can exhibit low self-esteem and engage in risky behavior.

Avoid pulling children into any ongoing conflict with an ex-spouse, so they can avoid having to take sides. Whatever short-term gain you might think you’ll get by enlisting your kids, you risk long-term relationship losses with your kids.

If after your divorce you or your children need professional help coping with the new, post-divorce reality, contact our office. We can refer you to qualified therapists who have helped many of our clients in the past.