Going through a divorce can be equally depressing and frustrating. You not only have to deal with the emotional turmoil of a breakup, but the legal component can be overwhelming. If you have kids, it’s even harder.
Although divorcing someone is stressful, it doesn’t have to be as horrible as you might think. It will never be perfectly smooth, but try these tips to make your divorce a little bit easier.
1. Be generous when dividing shared property
Dividing shared property during a divorce is one of the most stressful things you’ll have to handle. It’s hard to let go of the physical items you’ve collected together. It symbolizes the ultimate end of your relationship.
Ideally, you should negotiate property division with a lawyer and a mediator. This makes the entire process easier and less painful. In most states, including Texas, marital property needs to be distributed fairly and justly. This is easier said than done.
The best approach to property division is to know when it’s not worth fighting to hang on to something that is causing more stress, trying to agree on how to divide. For instance, if your ex-partner is fighting hard for all the vinyl records you’ve collected over the years, be generous enough to let them have it. In return, request for them to be generous with you about whatever you are passionate about keeping.
Other assets are harder to divide. What if you really love your home and don’t want to sell it and move? Sometimes couples who own more than one property split their real estate assets, but most of the time homes are sold and the profit is split equitably. Be prepared to let the big things go.
2. Consider mediation
Not every divorce needs to go to court. Many couples go through a mediation process instead. This is easier when you and your ex-partner can work together to make the process as smooth as possible.
Mediation is a great alternative because it’s less stressful than having to go to court, file paperwork, wait for a hearing, and deal with setbacks. In court, there can be many setbacks during a divorce. For instance, if someone doesn’t sign their paperwork properly, your case can go back to the bottom of the pile.
3. Focus on communication
No matter what, communication is going to make or break the ease of your divorce. It’s difficult to communicate with someone when there’s still animosity between you, but consider it an opportunity to overcome your impulses.
Strong, clear, calm communication will make every part of your divorce easier and less stressful. You’ll negotiate property distribution more easily, and you’ll help lessen the tension between you and your ex-partner.
4. Be flexible with child custody judgments
Although judges thoroughly read your paperwork and speak with you during a child custody hearing, they can’t know everything about you and your situation. They can only make decisions based on what they see and understand. If your ex-partner lies or exaggerates the truth, it’s your word against theirs.
Judges will rule based on what’s fair for a child involved in a custody battle. They will take the parents’ needs into account, but it’s ultimately about the kids, so be flexible with what the court thinks is best for your child.
Naturally, if your ex-partner is trying to get full custody of your child, you’ll want to fight that request. However, when dealing with shared custody, it’s best to be flexible. For instance, when a judge issues an order for a specific shared custody schedule, try not to nitpick the details. If you need to cancel your Tuesday taco nights to pick up your kids, don’t push it with the judge to move your changeover day.
5. Practice self-care
Self-care is critical when going through a divorce. You’re going to feel stressed, frustrated, and maybe even angry. It’s normal to experience negative emotions, but you need to take care of yourself so you don’t lose your mind.
Self-care is not simply thinking positive thoughts. You can’t force yourself to stop feeling horrible just by telling yourself to stop. Instead, get out of the house and go get a massage, sit in a jacuzzi, or treat yourself to your favorite snack. Do things that make you feel good. It won’t completely eliminate the pain, but it will keep you from spiraling down.
Take it easy
You never expected to get a divorce, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. So, take it easy, and if you need to talk to someone, reach out to your friends or a counselor. Just talking to someone can be a huge relief.