How To Deal With Divorce
Posted: 12th April 2019
Posted in: News
Posted by: Luke Brandon, Partner
Life is over as you knew it. Separating from your spouse is hard. In an incredibly trying time, parties involved usually do not know how to deal with divorce and they feel uncertain about the present and the future. Some have been together a long time and they cannot remember their lives as single individuals. For others, the relationship was not so long, but they are nonetheless facing the reality of their dreams of what could have been being shattered.
It is extremely emotional even when you are the spouse who instigated the separation. Not only do you have to deal with those emotions, but most of the time you must also deal with the financial fallout. If you have kids, arrangements need to be put in place for their care and welfare.
Here Are Some Tips On How To Deal With Divorce
It is important to identify a couple of things straight from the beginning.
Firstly, it is going to be hard. At times you are likely to have feelings of depression, anxiety, self-doubt and hopelessness. You are going to have hard days, then you are going to feel like you are making some progress before crashing back to experiencing those horrible feelings again. It is an emotional roller coaster.
The important thing is to identify this is how it is and that is normal to experience those feelings.
Once you have identified and accepted that it is going to be hard, you need to get supported. What does get ‘supported’ mean? Well, it means to connect yourself with professional service providers who can assist and guide you through the separation and transition to independent life.
Yes, you have friends and family who are willing to provide you advice on how to deal with divorce, but you need more than that. Your friends and family most likely do not have the skill set to properly assist you, and most likely do not have the time or energy to provide the support you need. People are busy with their own lives, their own problems and challenges. You know this, so you end up not reaching out at all. You end up alone and unsupported.
Friends and family are great in providing support by taking you out for dinner or a weekend away to give you a break from it all. Friends and family time should be a time where you do not discuss the separation issues, rather it should be your Zen Zone. You will likely have a friend or family member who wants to talk to you about your issues and give their advice. You should thank them for caring, but tell them that you do not wish for them to get involved.
Horses for Courses
The old saying, “horses for courses” is applicable to your post-separation support network. You should have a professional support person assisting you in the area which is within their own area of expertise. As such, you will have several support persons all doing their part to assist you on how to deal with divorce and transitioning to your new life.
If someone is seeking to give advice outside of their area of expertise, then this should set off alarm bells. Your family lawyer is not the person you should be relying upon for counselling. Your accountant should not be providing advice on what parenting arrangements should be put in place for your children. Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But you would be surprised!
There are specialists within a profession. It is best to link with a specialist.
You should also be cognizant that not all counsellors or psychologists are going to be best for you nor is it likely that one will be able to assist you with everything. You may have a psychologist who assists you with your own health, but they are not necessarily going to have the skill set to assist you with coping with the challenges of parenting your children in a separated household.
In my experience, psychologists who do not have the experience and expertise in dealing with parenting matters following separation, but provide advice in any event, often cause serious harm and sometimes the damage is irreversible.
When it comes to children if they are struggling with the separation of their parents, which most will to some degree, understand that this does not mean you need to engage the children in counselling. Quite often it is the parents who need to shift their behaviour or approach. Kids are fine if their parents are fine, so the work needs to be done with the parents. We have some really great psychologists and social workers practising from the Gold Coast who assist parents with the challenges of parenting post-separation.
As there are specialist psychologists/counsellors, there are specialist lawyers. In the same way, a psychologist can do damage if they seek to practice and advise outside their field of expertise, a lawyer can do the same thing. There are Accredited Specialist Lawyers in family law, there are firms that exclusively practice in family law, there are industry ranking systems identifying family law experts. If you link with a firm or lawyer who falls within one of these categories, then you should feel confident that you will get the right advice.
It is important, once you get supported and link with your chosen professionals, to understand that you are still in control. You are the decision maker. Your professionals will provide advice on how to deal with divorce, but do not surrender power to them. A good professional advisor would refuse to take the power or refuse to become the decision maker.
Having taken control, it is important to exercise it. The only bad decision is indecision.
Know that the Future is Bright
There is a lot of media focus on the delay of the Court system and the reality is that it is a process and it is going to take time. The Courts should be better resourced by the Government so that justice could be administered more promptly.
I often hear from former clients years after their matter has concluded. None of them tells me that they never recovered. In fact, overwhelmingly, they are positive stories of how life has improved for them and whilst at the time when they were in the trenches, it seemed like their life was over, it wasn’t. In fact, life had just begun!
Going through a separation and coming out the other side gives you strength, a sense of being able to overcome adversity and stand on your own two feet. That is an incredible feeling and incredibly empowering.
Get In Touch with us if you have any questions about Family Law including how to deal with divorce.