Doing Divorce Well -- 3 Important Tips to Help You Move through the Process

Posted On: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Divorce is not easy ... for anyone. Whether you made the decision or it was made for you, there is a grieving period that usually occurs for couples who are ending a marriage or long-term relationship. As a marriage and couples therapist in Boca Raton, Florida, my belief is that divorce should always be the absolute last resort. But when it does become a reality, there are a few things that you should know to make the process more bearable.

Find a solid support system that includes attending to your emotional and psychological well-being. What's the first thing that individuals do when they decide to divorce? Find an attorney. And that is important, too. At the same time attending to the psychological and emotional affects of the divorce are imperative. These affects can continue on for a long time after the final papers are signed. And these types of issues will often influence your ability to negotiate your divorce. Resolving co-parenting issues, agreeing on the distribution of assets, and creating a new relationship moving forward are all more effectively resolved when you are in a better place emotionally. This is especially important if you have children.

Second, the kids come first -- always and without exception. As much as possible, parents should consider how to maintain stability and consistency during this very difficult time. It's difficult to hide what you are feeling, but children need to be reassured that you will be o.k. and that they will be o.k. When I work with children whose parents are going through divorce, I often present them with a Children's Bill of Rights of Divorce. It makes them feel empowered, especially when things come up during the divorce that affects them. These rights include being able to see both parents on a regular basis, being able to continue to love both parents without feeling guilty or disloyal, and not ever, ever having to be placed in the middle of the marital conflict.

Third, take some time to be single. You know divorce isn't about failure. But it should be about taking time to figure out what went wrong and how to do it differently the next time. And if you are thinking that things will be different just because you are no longer with that person who seemed to be creating all the conflict, think again. Most times, both partners contribute to the ending of a relationship. Take some time to figure out what you want. Date, have fun, be single for a while, get to know yourself a little better. And then, when you decide to commit to another relationship, you will know you are doing it for the right reasons, not just because you are tired of being alone or lonely.

Dr. Laura Richter is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist who works with individuals, couples, and families. Her specialties include: surviving infidelity, improving communication, beginning again after divorce and effective co-parenting after divorce. She is also a trained mediator, qualified parenting coordinator and collaborative law mental health professional. For more information, please call or text us today at 561-715-6404 to schedule a consultation to see how we can help.