Divorce Cheat Sheet of Tips

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Getting divorced is a big, complex mess. You need to get a lawyer, divvy up your possessions, fight over the kids and find a new special someone to spend your life with. These quick tips will help you maintain your sanity and keep everything under control as you undergo this arduous process.

1. Treat Your Ex Like A Person

You’re not alone in your divorce. No matter what happened to end your marriage, your ex is going through a lot of the same stresses that you are. You don’t have to bond over your shared anguish here — just give your ex a little common courtesy and try to work with them during your split. Being on speaking terms is the difference between an easy custody split that both of you are happy with and a painful court battle where you both lose.

2. Find Someone You Can Talk To

Divorce brings out a lot of emotions — sadness over your lost relationship, confusion over what’s going on with your life, and happiness that you get to leave your dead relationship and move on towards the future. Being able to discuss your feelings with someone will help you maintain a clear head as you move forwards. Find a friend, family member, therapist or counselor that you feel comfortable sharing with and have a heart-to-heart on a regular basis. Don’t make the mistake of using your lawyer for this role. While he or she is paid to talk to you, they’ll be much more expensive and much less effective than a therapist or a friend.

3. Put Your Issues Behind You

You’re divorcing your spouse. Whatever argument or issue broke up your marriage is in the past. There’s no reason to keep fighting now that you’re no longer married. It’s okay to stand your ground — if your ex wants something unreasonable in the divorce, for example, it’s perfectly fine to deny them and argue your case. Otherwise, let them live their new life without you. It’ll save you a lot of headaches, stress and time.

4. Present A Unified Front

If you have kids, it’s important not to fight in front of them. You and your ex are very important to your children. No matter what they’ve done to end the relationship, keep your fight private and away from your kids. You can quietly explain the reasons behind your divorce later, if your kids are old enough. Otherwise, stay neutral at worst. “Daddy wanted to spend time with other women” is a lot better for a 10 year old to hear than “your father was a cheating bastard.”

5. Take Care of Yourself

When you were married, you had a person looking out for you. Now that you’re divorcing them, you need to fill that role yourself. Take time out of each day to do things you enjoy. Make sure that you exercise, eat right and take care of your living environment. It’s easy to lapse into laziness or depression. By taking the time to build healthy habits to take care of yourself, you’ll ensure that you’re happy and fit when you’re ready to move on with your life.

Updated: January 3, 2015 — 3:41 am
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