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Studio Legale Avvocato Cecatiello, specializzato in Diritto di Famiglia | International Family Law
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manage a divorce

HOW TO MANAGE A DIVORCE: 12 SIMPLE ADVICES

ARTICOLO IN ITALIANO -> SEPARAZIONE E DIVORZIO COME COMPORTARSI: 12 CONSIGLI SEMPLICI

 

Going through a divorce can be very difficult, no matter the reason for it. It can turn your world upside down and make it hard to get through the work day and stay productive. But there are things you can do to get through this difficult adjustment.

Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated and confused — and these feelings can be intense.

You also may feel anxious about the future. Accept that reactions like these will lessen over time. Even if the marriage was unhealthy, venturing into the unknown is frightening.

 

#1 ONE STEP AT A TIME

Coping with the chaos caused by the collapse of your marriage is an enormous task. You have your own mental and physical state to worry about, and your kids (if you have any) will require a lot of attention. There are umpteen practical things to attend to including finding a place to live for yourself; sorting out your finances and making care, visitation & custody arrangements for your kids. It all seems terribly daunting until you break down the task into smaller bits. Take one step at a time; go slowly. Deal first with the most pressing things like a place to live, and then gradually start dealing with the other matters. Eventually you will sort it all out.

 

#2 TAKE YOUR TIME

Give yourself permission to feel and to function at a less than optimal level for a period of time. You may not be able to be quite as productive on the job or care for others in exactly the way you’re accustomed to for a little while. No one is superman or superwoman; take time to heal, regroup and re-energize.

 

 

#3 DON’T LOOK BACK

Holding onto the past will hold you back and slow your recovery. Somehow you need to let go of the marriage/family/partner you had, no matter how important they were to you. You just have to mourn your loss and go through the pain. Forget the image you have of yourself as husband or wife, forget all the plans you made for family life, even your concept of family. Kick your old habits and routines and change your expectations about where you are heading. Material possessions may need to be sacrificed, too. However, it’s not all loss. You can learn from what has happened in order to create the next phase of your life. You’ll need to take an honest look at yourself and your role in the relationship. Ask yourself: What part did I play in the breakup and what can I learn from what has happened? This may require the help of a professional but it’s worthwhile. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference in how you conduct your relationships.

 

#4 DON’T ESITATE TO ASK HELP

Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships and overall health. Don’t be afraid to get outside help if you need it.

 

#5 FIND A FAMILY LAWYER

From the beginning you need a lawyer that can advise you want you can and can’t do. Don’t think that a legal consultation is a wasting of time and money: knowing exactly your right and your duty, especially when you are living abroad or you are an expat is the secret to manage a good agreement. Don’t risk to make mistakes.

 

#6 BE GOOD TO YOURSELF AND TO YOUR BODY

Take time out to exercise, eat well and relax. Keep to your normal routines as much as possible. Try to avoid making major decisions or changes in life plans. Don’t use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes as a way to cope; they only lead to more problems.

 

#7 AVOID STRUGGLES AND ARGUMENTS WITH YOUR SPOUSE

If a discussion begins to turn into a fight, calmly suggest that you both try talking again later and either walk away or hang up the phone. Better go for a walk!

 

 

#8 TAKE TIME TO EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTS AND THINK  WHAT YOU REALLY WANT

In the great majority of cases, divorce is an adversarial situation. In order to minimize confusion, arguments and endless wrangling, you need to be sure in your own mind about what you want to achieve and you need to state it clearly, leaving no room for doubt. Don’t second-guess what the other person may or may not want, might do, etc. It is you who needs to be heard. If, for instance, you want to remain in the family home as the main carer of the kids, say so. In meetings, formal and informal, state your case as best you can in a calm, civilized and reasonable manner, while leaving some room for compromise.

 

#9 THINK POSITIVELY

Easier said than done, right? Things may not be the same, but finding new activities and friends, and moving forward with reasonable expectations will make this transition easier. Be flexible. If you have children, family traditions will still be important but some of them may need to be adjusted. Help create new family activities.

Life will get back to normal, although “normal” may be different from what you had originally hoped.

 

#10 TALK WITH YOUR SPOUSE TO KIDS

If you have children, here’s a short list of tips that can help your young children and teens cope.

Reassure and listen. Make sure your kids know that your divorce is not their fault. Listen to and ease their concerns, and be compassionate but direct in your responses.

Try to keep your kids’ daily and weekly routines as familiar and stable as possible.

Offer consistent discipline. Now that your kids may share time with both parents separately, make sure to agree in advance on bedtimes, curfews and other everyday decisions, as well as any punishments.

Let your children know they can rely on you. Make and keep realistic promises. And don’t overly confide in them about your feelings about the divorce.

Don’t involve your children in the conflict. Avoid arguing with or talking negatively about the other parent in front of your kids. Don’t use them as spies or messengers, or make them take sides.

 

 

#11 CONSIDER DIVORCE AS AN OPPORTUNITY

Initially, divorce feels like a calamity with no redeeming features. Your life is in a shambles, you are hurting badly and your self-esteem is at an all-time low. The good news is that you can turn the calamity into an opportunity to change the way you see yourself and how you interact with other people. Simply by handling the crisis decently and gradually recovering from it, you will undergo a transformation in how you feel about yourself, your accomplishments and your capabilities. You’ll be convinced your divorce was a welcome wakeup call once you begin to see that just as one chapter is ending a new one is beginning.

 

#12 CREATE YOUR NEW LIFE

The object of these guidelines is to help you to build a new life and to ensure that you do not use the old bricks again because they will only produce a similar structure. The building blocks of your new life are your talents, your involvement in your work, a healthy relationship with your kids, pursuing your interests and cultivating new friendships. On this foundation, you will appear as an attractive, authentic person, capable of intimacy and romance. But don’t rush it. Your divorce has handed you the rare opportunity to start afresh.

 

ARTICOLO IN ITALIANO -> SEPARAZIONE E DIVORZIO COME COMPORTARSI: 12 CONSIGLI SEMPLICI

 

Would you like to find out more?

Discover the book “A Mindful Divorce”, buy it on Amazon.