T’is the time for New Year resolutions. Our perennial attempt to lose weight at a gym, pay off debt, quit smoking, become organised and spend less time at work. For some, the resolution is a major change in their life and who they live it with.
Contemplating another year in a difficult or bad marriage can prove too much for many. The consequence is that more applications or petitions for divorce are reportedly filed in the Family Court during the month of January than in any other month of the year.
But the resolve to end a personal relationship can be the beginning of traumatic and unfamiliar emotions, parenting challenges, financial challenges and legal processes. Below are tips for managing the difficult transition of divorce.
- Put your children first
Children’s needs can often get lost in the web of complicated emotions triggered by a broken relationship. But parents who put their children first can minimise the effect of separation and divorce on them.Research has shown that it is not the divorce but the way you divorce that impacts children. Resolve not to argue in front of children, use them as a sounding board, bad-mouth to them about the other parent, or make them in any way part of the divorce. Endeavour to do what it takes to improve the quality of your parenting relationship by communicating and interacting as best as you can with your ex.
- Find financial solutions that work for you and your family
You and your family are unique and require an individualised solution to your financial issues. Therefore, resolve to apply energy toward creative problem-solving rather than toward recriminations or revenge – seek to fix the problem rather than apportion blame. Take control over all financial decisions, how fast they happen, and who is involved—and ensure that those who are, including solicitors, work towards a long-term sustainable financial settlement
- Find ways to work with, rather than apart from, your ex.
Choose a resolution method that minimises disruption to your life and helps you to maintain control over the outcome of your divorce. We recommend an out of court settlement wherever possible. However, in some cases court litigation could be the only option. No matter which option you choose, clarify upfront the most important priorities for both you and your ex. Select a family law solicitor who will help you to achieve a settlement that is aligned with both your short and long term goals.
- And take care of yourself
Separation and divorce are very stressful experiences that affect you physically as well as mentally and emotionally. That New Year gym membership may still prove beneficial in the months ahead. Take the class or enjoy the hobby, whatever works to relieve that stress. Nothing helps our emotions bounce back better than physical activity.
If it is your resolve in this New Year to end a relationship, the above tips will help you move forward with hope and integrity.