Taking the High Road During a Divorce: The DO’s & DON’TS
MAKE THAT POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You will have multiple opportunities to let the world know every which way that you are being wronged. It would feel so good to even just hint that this is all your ex’s fault or even that of a third party. DO NOT DO IT. Save that for private conversations with your bestie and family members. It is healthy to vent, but you are a strong, capable person that doesn’t want to look petty or vindictive. Most importantly, you definitely do not want to post something in the heat of the moment that can be used against you. You would be amazed at how an attorney can spin a seemingly honest post into something ridiculous.
PUT YOUR EX’s JOB IN JEOPARDY - REALIZE YOUR ACTIONS CAN DO THAT
Inconveniencing your spouse repeatedly during working hours or making inappropriate calls to their workplace may be temporarily gratifying, but with the uncertainty of the world today, it may take minimal transgressions for your ex to end up jobless. 99.9999% of the time it is in your best interest for your ex spouse to remain employed. This is especially true if you are receiving child support, alimony, or still on their health insurance. You and your children will be the ones that suffer most - payment amounts can be easily reduced if there is a significant drop in your ex’s income. Also realize if you are employed, your ex may decide to return the favor. You already have enough stress, just don’t go here.
DO NOT HIDE ASSETS
It may not seem fair that your ex may get part of the assets you worked so hard for while they contributed very little. With the technology available today, there is most likely a trail somewhere. Your financial affidavits are legal documents with consequences for non- disclosure. You can always make more money. Do not risk future legal action when the discrepancy is discovered.
DO NOT MAKE YOUR CHILDREN PAWNS IN YOUR GROWN UP GAME
A divorce is already a traumatic event for your children to experience during their formative years. It is so tempting to want to let them know exactly how their other parent has treated you and involve them in every aspect to make sure they are on your side. These are adult issues that young children AND teenagers are not able to process and should not be privy to no matter how mature they may seem. Your teenager is not your new best friend that you vent about your ex to. They need the support of both parents.Once they are older you can have a mature discussion with them, but right now they are learning how to form meaningful relationships built on trust and respect. It is already a very delicate process, make sure you are not doing anything to damage it. This can be another huge struggle, but there are other solutions to your loneliness - find a divorce support group, try meetup.com, church, talk to a therapist, etc.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
Taking the high road does not mean being a doormat! You should fight for what you deserve and for your future, but let your attorney handle most, if not all of the confrontations. Saying you want everything is also not productive for anyone. Do not let your hurt cloud your judgement.
STAY FIRM AS A PARENT
Children are intuitive. They have an almost instinctive need to test boundaries and this is the perfect opportunity for them to do so. This is not the time to cave even though it is so tempting. You can’t take anymore conflict, you don’t want them to be mad at you - after all you are the best parent. This is not a popularity contest, and it’s not about you, it’s about what actions can you take now to keep them on track to becoming a confident, healthy adult.
INVOLVE A THERAPIST
I’ll be honest. This step took me years. I thought I was handling everything fairly well until I wasn’t. It was a couple years down the road that I realized maybe I should let go of my ego and add a therapist to my team. I encourage you to involve one from the start. If there was ever a time to seek help, this is it. They can help you sort out your emotions and keep your focus on moving forward. They can also give counsel on how to deal best with your children’s unique needs and insight into what you may need to work on to have a healthy fresh start.
Keep your nose clean. Let your children see you take the high road. In the end you will be happy you did. Each and every one of these points, was a daily struggle for me for a long while and some still are. Think past today and about how a moment’s irresponsible action may affect everyone in the long-term. If your emotions are so heightened that you can’t control your words, make sure to communicate with your ex solely through your attorney and find a therapist you have a good connection with. If you are struggling with financial concerns let us help. One day you will reach a point of freedom where what your ex and other people think do not matter. Until then, seek out the resources you need to keep yourself and your children on a healthy path forward.