02/08/2012 Posted By: Ed Amaral, from www.onlinedivorcemediation.com
The key to life after divorce is to follow a post-divorce plan. With so many things affecting your life during and after your divorce, a plan can bring a lot of comfort and needed stability to your life and help you to move more positively into the future. There will inevitably be many things that you cannot control as much as you would like to during this process, so it is important to take hold of those things which you can control and use them to surround yourself with calm during the storm. Just like your children will need predictability, comfort, and safety in order to function most efficiently and effectively, so too is it important to create such an environment for yourself as you embark on this new life after divorce.
1. Is a divorce mediator for you? An experienced divorce mediator, who is also a lawyer, can help to keep the peace if you and your spouse are entering divorce on cordial terms and with similar goals for the future. By allowing the divorce process to take place in a collaborative instead of adversarial manner, you can avoid a situation that places you against your spouse, in a negative way. You can even get divorced online through companies such as OnlineDivorceMediation.Com, so that your divorce is as non-confrontational as possible, which truly serves the best interest of your children.
2. Redefine your relationship with your Ex. While you may no longer be husband and wife, you are still parents to your children and a family unit and you need to be allies in this cause. Your children will be experiencing anxiety as it is, so it’s important that they know their parents are still there for them in a strong and collaborative way. You need to set rules and boundaries that will allow you to form a parenting partnership, for this is the healthiest way to move forward.
3. Write it down. Everything is clearer when in print. When things are written down there is no room for he said, she said. The same is true with a parenting plan. It is important that you and your Ex formally write down how you will handle situations with your children, so that even if tensions may heat up between the two of you, your children will not have to bear the consequences. You want to show your children that you can still work as a team when it comes to matters dealing with their well-being. Additionally, it is to your benefit to write everything down that has to do with your divorce agreement, no matter how cordial things may be now, because things do change. You need to have a plan to follow when one spouse does not hold up their end of the bargain or if a situation comes up that had not been previously addressed.
4. Let yourself grieve. Whether you were married for one year or twenty, you gave a part of yourself to your spouse when you said, “I do,” and created a life together. When you get divorced, you are losing a close friend and loved one and it will take time to mourn this loss, even if you were in favor of the divorce.
5. Find your voice. It is very important for you to find you voice and get your emotional strength back for yourself and for your children. A helpful way to find your voice is by keeping a journal. It is a way to clearly outline your thoughts and express things that may not be appropriate to say out loud to your Ex. It is also a great way to track your healing process and reflect on the progress that you are making in redefining your life after divorce.
6. Talk with your children. If your children know there are things they can do to help this transition, it will give them a feeling of empowerment and stability. Talk to them about how they are feeling and what life during and after divorce will look like. Be an example for your children and make sure that they see you as a strong pillar in their life, even if you are not feeling that way. They need the reassurance.
7. Organize your finances. Making sure you understand your finances is a positive way to take charge of your new life. Assess your financial situation; look at your resources to see what your options are in terms of housing, job, and income and expenses.
8. Make new friends. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself and in doing so branch out and make new connections. You no longer need to define yourself as half of a couple; it is okay to think of yourself as an individual now.
9. Make a bucket list. Divorce is an opportunity to redefine yourself and to rediscover old interests and find new ones. Stay busy in constructive ways, and think about the things that you may have let go or pushed aside while you were married and allow them back into your life. Create new passions: travel, go back to school, do what makes the new you happy, because when you are happy, you will be a better parent and person.
10. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional support. You’re not the first person to go through this and you surely will not be the last. It is hard to move forward and let go of what once was. It is absolutely okay if you need to talk with a therapist to work through your divorce and positively move forward into the future.
11. Look forward, not backward. Try not to think about your negative issues from your past. More often than not married life is filled with wonderful memories and you should take comfort in them and focus on the positive. Look to the future and begin to develop your new self and begin creating new memories, for it is when you look forward, no matter how hard and long the process may be, that you have the greatest outlook on all that lies before you in your life after divorce.
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