Divorce occurs often in the U.S. and San Diego is no exception. Divorce is usually a traumatic experience for both parties. Your way through it can be affected by the approach you take. We suggest following these seven positive steps to help you through the process of divorce in San Diego.
1. Give yourself time
This really is about taking one step at a time. Don’t pressure yourself if you’re feeling less than great. If you need to slow down daily life a bit, then do so. Try to spend some time outside, walking in the fresh air is excellent for the soul. Think about things you enjoy doing and try to find some time for those.
Friends and family are always important, but even more so now that you are separated from your spouse. It might be difficult, but accept that you are vulnerable right now and need some support. If you feel you could also use some professional guidance, try seeing a counselor.
3. Be proactive
Contact a divorce lawyer to guide you through the process. Make sure you are aware of both your own and your spouse’s legal rights and responsibilities. Removing doubt will help you both feel more secure and make more rational decisions.
4. Stay involved with your children
This will help them as well as you. Children need continuity. Make sure you keep doing the things you enjoyed doing together. Be interested in their lives, not only your grief.
Meet with a divorce lawyer early on to establish a custody arrangement and set a routine. This will cause the least disruption to your children as possible. You need to do your best to establish an effective co-parenting relationship. Be available to answer your children’s questions about the divorce in agreed-upon ways. Ensure you do not undercut your spouse or expect your children to be your support system. If this is proving difficult, family therapy can be very helpful.
5. Stay healthy
Emotions can play havoc with our usual habits and our health. Although it might be tempting to splurge on pizza and ice-cream every night, it’s not going to help you cope with divorce if you feel unwell. Try to maintain a reasonably healthy diet with some regular exercise. The brain releases serotonin when you exercise which improves your mood.
6. Put a budget in place
Organize all your financial information. This is particularly important if you weren’t very involved in handling the family finances. Make sure you can manage household expenses. If you have a workable budget in place, you won’t need to suffer undue financial stress. This will also help you contribute to the financial needs of your children. Your divorce attorney will need information on your financial situation when representing you on matters of asset division and child support.
7. Maintain your career
Try approaching work positively. Don’t add extra pressure by using the mindset that you depend entirely on your job because divorce is expensive. Your work can be a great place to set aside your personal troubles. You aren’t denying divorce is happening, you are focusing on the job at hand during business hours. This should provide your mind with some relief. Getting up and going to work every day can give you some positive reinforcement. For example, remind yourself that you are doing a good job at going to work to give your children good lives or that your job contributes to your community. Focus on the small victories, rather than feeling overwhelmed.
Know that you can make it through the divorce. It won’t always be smooth sailing, but your efforts will go a long way to putting you in a safe place socially, emotionally and financially.