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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Why you should (almost) stop ranting about your divorce

We frequently write about the importance of processing any negative emotions you may experience as a result of your divorce. Having these emotions is completely normal and healthy. But if you fail to process them appropriately, you may impact your ability to obtain a fair divorce settlement, to receive the kinds of child custody arrangements that are truly in the best interests of your child(ren) and your wellbeing.

One of the ways in which some individuals process negative emotions is to write or speak about them repeatedly. There is something cathartic about repeating your thoughts until you can make more sense out of them or until they do not seem so pressing. As a result, “ranting” can be a healthy way to process emotions. But ranting is only healthy in certain contexts and to a certain point.

Looking on the bright side of living alone again

We frequently write about how important it is to take excellent care of yourself during your divorce. No one can completely separate the hurt feelings and emotional wounds one sustains as a marriage is ending from the practical process of divorce. However, taking good care of yourself places you in the best possible position to weather the divorce process with grace, with dignity and with an eye towards the future instead of the past. This approach helps to ensure that negative emotions do not rule the process and imperil your ability to obtain a fair divorce settlement.

It is not always easy to take good care of yourself during the divorce process or in its wake. You may feel exhausted and overwhelmed much of the time. However, there are realities which accompany divorce that oddly make it a bit easier to take care of yourself. For example, you no longer have to worry about taking care of your spouse. Your needs, and the needs of your children if you have children, can come first each and every day.

How do I lovingly ask for a prenuptial agreement?

We have previously written about the benefits of drafting prenuptial agreements prior to marriage. In addition to protecting your interests and your romantic partner’s interests in the event of divorce, these legal contracts can help to ensure that your marriage is stronger, less filled with tension, more honest and more grounded in terms of financial expectations. Yet despite all these benefits, prenups do sometimes inspire stigmas. And as a result of these stigmas, you may feel hesitant about discussing them with your romantic partner.

You may be afraid that he or she will take your request as a sign that you are unsure about the longevity of your relationship. You may be concerned that asking for a prenup will bring up questions about trust. And you may also be frustrated that in order to draft a prenup you must think about the potential for divorce at the very time that you are likely planning a wedding. All of these concerns are valid. However, the benefits of drafting a premarital agreement often outweigh the burdens associated with facing down these fears.

Responding to an abusive relationship

If your romantic partner has begun to behave in abusive ways, you likely have numerous questions about how to respond. Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not be questioning whether to leave. You may even be questioning whether or not you deserve this treatment. The answer to this second question is unequivocally “No.” No matter how complex your circumstances are, no one deserves to be treated in an abusive manner.

The question about whether or not to leave may be more complex. You may be scared that you cannot leave safely. You may be worried about the fate of your children. You may also feel that you have no where to go. Thankfully, the law aims to protect victims of domestic abuse and numerous resources exist designed to help you leave safely and to thrive in the wake of this transition.

Finding yourself again after divorcing

We frequently write about the numerous challenges that individuals tend to face as they navigate the divorce process. With the aid of experienced family law attorney, many of the logistical and legal challenges can be mitigated. However, many of the practical and emotional challenges that divorce inspires must be largely weathered on one’s own. This can be a particularly daunting process given that divorce can be jarring and can set off a number of frustrating, confusing and disorienting negative emotions that one must deal with while simultaneously dealing with the practical consequences of divorce such as property division and redefining certain personal relationships.

In all of this physical and emotional chaos, it can be easy to lose your way. You may have felt that you were losing your sense of self as your marriage began to feel unhealthy or unmanageable. Unfortunately, the divorce process can heighten this sense of losing one’s most fundamental self. Thankfully, if you approach your divorce process as an opportunity for growth and as a transition from one phase of life to the next, it can actually inspire you to know yourself more fully and to find yourself once again.

Coping with regret about your kids post-divorce

When you made the decision to divorce your spouse, you were likely compelled to process numerous fears and concerns regarding how your children would cope with your decision. It is both normal and healthy to worry about one’s children. It would have been odd if you had no concerns and fears about your child’s reactions to your divorce. But did you stop to worry about your own heart? Did you stop to wonder how you would cope with the changing nature of your relationship with your child in the wake of your divorce?

No matter how your child custody arrangements have been constructed, you may be struggling with some regrets in regards to your parenting situation now that your divorce has been finalized. One of the most common regrets parents have after they split from their child’s other parent is that they likely do not get to see their child every single day. Because the culture of parenting and the family legal system have evolved in recent years to become more inclusive, it is relatively rare that one parent assumes full custody and physical placement of a child in the wake of divorce unless the other parent is deemed unfit or chooses to walk away. As a result, many divorced parents go days, weeks and even months in between seeing their child face-to-face.

What children of divorced parents learn over time

In the immediate aftermath of parental divorce, children often feel confused, hurt, angry and a host of other negative emotions. However, like their parents, they tend to grow into their new lives over time. Many children emerge from the aftermath of divorce far stronger, more resilient, more responsible and more empathetic than they were before their parents went their separate ways.

Regardless of how your children’s child custody arrangements are constructed, if you parent them with their best interests in mind, they will likely emerge from the divorce process healthy, happy and well-adjusted. Although your children may struggle with certain elements of your divorce for years, they will likely also benefit from certain divorce-related truths which they will learn over time.

Divorcing? Don't hit your emotional off-switch, please

You and your spouse have decided to divorce. Are you overwhelmed by your emotions? Chances are that you are indeed overwhelmed. But because the world does not stop when you decide to divorce, you are likely stuffing your emotions down as best you can in order to keep getting to work on time, keep getting the kids off to school and keep yourself fed, watered and entertained.

We frequently write about how important it is that you keep your negative emotions from impacting your divorce process for the worse. If you allow your negative emotions to impact the ways in which you approach property division or child custody disputes, you could end up with far less than you deserve. However, it is also important that you don’t stuff your emotion in favor of barreling through the process without thinking about how sad, angry, confused or frustrated you feel.

Reacting to your spouse's desire for a divorce

Earlier this month, we wrote about the importance of behaving in a straightforward and consistent manner when telling your spouse that you want a divorce. But what if you do not want a divorce? What if you are grappling with the frustrating and deeply sad reality that your spouse wants a divorce? It is important that you take certain steps in reaction to this news, even if you are so stunned and overwhelmed that your feet seem to be rooted to the floor.

Thankfully, even if you do not feel that you can process this news completely right now, you can enlist professionals to help you move forward with actions that you cannot yet wrap your head around. For example, it is important to speak with an attorney sooner rather than later. Failure to speak with an attorney as soon as you know that your spouse wants a divorce can result in numerous negative consequences, depending on your circumstances. Meeting with a financial planner and a counselor may benefit you as well.

Telling your spouse that you wish to file for divorce

If you have decided that you want to file for divorce, you have made a life-altering choice. It was likely not easy to make this decision, unless some significant event occurred that fundamentally conflicts with your values. But whether or not the decision to divorce was a straightforward one to make for you, you are likely grappling with a host of negative emotions. It is important not to let these emotions take control while you are telling your spouse that you want a divorce.

Certainly, negative emotions like anger may help to give you the courage to make this announcement. However, letting your negative emotions run the show may set a truly negative tone for your divorce process. As you are less likely to get the child custody and/or property division settlement that you want and deserve if you initiate a high-conflict divorce process, it is important to remain calm and focused while telling your spouse that you no longer wish to remain married.

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