The internet is full of hints and tips on:
- How to cope with divorce
- Coping with separation, and
- Looking after yourself during the marriage separation process
While they don’t all provide the same advice, there are some consistent themes. One of the most common tips, and usually the first one on many lists is to cut all contact with your ex partner.
Sounds sensible, right? But how do you do that if you have children together? Or if you live in the same home and neither can afford to move out? These situations are very common.
I think this is one of the most critical times in how a couple will deal with each other moving forward. It sets the bedrock for their post-relationship relationship. During your relationship, you might find the saying ‘it’s a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than permission’ applies, but it is completely the opposite after the relationship ends.
Here are my top 4 tips on coping with separation / divorce and keeping your ‘post-relationship’ relationship as good as it can be:
1) Take the high road
It is all too easy to let a marriage (or de facto) separation become the green light to release all those pent-up frustrations out, to say what you couldn’t before. Leave that for your friends. There will inevitably be things said that may slip through – don’t forget that “Anger” is a stage in grief – but recognise and apologise as soon as possible;
2) No surprises
Withdrawing the family savings to ‘safe-guard it’ – if there is any way to piss-off an ex partner, take joint money. This will quite likely have the opposite effect, because you could bet your house (literally) on your ex ‘lawyering up’, which in turn might make you lawyer up, and $200,000 in anger-fueled legal fees later. The same applies to any new relationships, in fact, it is often best to leave any announcement or even whiff of a new relationship until after the dust settles on this one, including formalising the property settlement (and parenting plans if applicable);
3) Check in on yourself
Your friends are great to have around, but unlikely to be truly unbiased during a separation, and are even more unlikely to be an unbiased mental health professional. Friends can be “yes” people, which sometimes is not a good thing. There is nothing wrong with checking in with a professional counsellor and/or psychologist to just talk through your emotions, doubts and thoughts – they are an independent support person outside of your normal circle, and can offer that freedom to vent and talk through any feelings and thoughts floating around in your head;
4) Start planning for 5 years on
Start focussing on the positives and the future. Thinking about things you couldn’t do before the divorce, and focus on that. Focussing on a positive future will help to keep you in a happy mental place. Talk to and seek advice from professionals – financial advisors, counsellors, specialist family lawyers – remember not any one person will ever have all the answers – simply take all the advice on board, take what you like from it, and then just go for it!
Parry Coates Family Law are here to help, providing professional advice and guidance for anyone going through separation and divorce. We also provide flat-rate consultations to ensure you get the right advice at the right time, and understand all of your available options prior to making any big decisions.
Get in touch with one of our friendly team today for a private discussion.
‘Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.‘