How to Handle Change during a Divorce
Guest Blogger: Harper Mac
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a divorce, it is a painful and difficult process to go through. From changing living situations and the loss of a lifelong partner to helping children deal with the separation, the demands of divorce can be exhausting and challenging. However tempting it may be to shut down and escape from the emotional trauma, you have to be sure to take care of four key areas:
While you are dealing with potential litigation, packing, moving, and numerous other life changes, it can be easy to let your health slide. However, now is not the time to abandon diet and exercise. Maintain healthy eating and cooking habits and make a commitment to yourself during this time – join an athletic club, take up an old hobby, or start several home improvement projects.
Be aware of any changes in your mental health. While the turbulence of an ending relationship can shatter your self-confidence and self-image, this is not the time to allow pity to cripple you. Therapy or counseling can help you get through rough patches.
Taking care of yourself is important, but even more important is taking care of your children during the divorce. While children are still growing and learning, the separation of their parents can be scary and confusing. Your love and support, as well as a willingness to listen to your children will help them get through this difficult time.
Regardless of how your emotions may be affected, do not allow them to cloud your interactions with your children. Carefully monitor your pain or anger and think before reacting to something your children say. Your response can shape theirs in similar situations in the future – like interactions with your children. Also, remember that even though you and your spouse are parting ways, your children care deeply about each parent, so don’t bad-mouth your spouse to your children.
Insurance and Finances
If your spouse acted as your household’s Chief Financial Officer, you may be unaware of when bills or due—or how many bills you even have. And because your insurer might cancel your policies if you miss a payment, you need to find out what policies you have and when payments are due. All of your policies, from auto and home to health and life may be affected by your changing relationships. The most important step is to take a deep breath and decide whether your policy needs have changed.
During the course of your divorce it’s important to keep your finances in order. The costs of any legal counsel can be difficult to juggle as well as relocating and buying your own home furnishings. Until any settlement is finalized, do not make any large purchases, take expensive vacations or spend large sums from shared bank accounts. It’s important to keep your own finances healthy while you take care of your family and mental health.
Going through a divorce isn’t easy—it turns your life upside down and requires some major life adjustments. Keep your body, mind, family, and finances healthy and remember that things will get better soon.
About the Author
Lindsey Harper Mac is a writer and editor living in Indianapolis. She specializes in writing about education, social media and technology.