How to Get Through the Difficulties of Divorce

Divorce is a complex process that encompasses many issues. It is not only a legal matter but also involves changing the entire family dynamic. Children often have a difficult time understanding divorce. This article offers age-appropriate guidance to help your child through the separation and its aftermath. It includes scripts for answering difficult questions and advice on navigating holidays, making two homes truly home, and new relationships.

The Basics

Divorce is a complex and emotional process. With a thorough and serious assessment of what it wants and needs and can let go of, it can be easier for couples to come to a good conclusion. Individuals experience four psychological stages throughout divorce: deliberation, decision, transition and healing. However, it’s rare for spouses to experience all phases simultaneously. One may be ready to divorce, while the other is reluctant to face marital difficulties. The most important thing to remember is that you must choose a “grounds” or legal reason for the divorce. You can select either fault or no-fault grounds for divorce (irreconcilable differences or extreme cruelty are common).

Additionally, most divorces do not end up going to trial. Rather, they settle on a “settlement agreement.” It means you and your spouse agree on a final agreement for the major divorce issues.

The Financial Issues

One of the biggest changes from marriage to single life is financial. Depending on the circumstances, this can involve everything from how assets are divided to how bills will be paid. Changing from two to one borrower can require re-qualification and additional credit inquiries if there’s a mortgage. It is something to discuss with an experienced divorce attorney Tampa. It’s also important to cancel joint accounts and move any outstanding debt to individual names to avoid additional legal fees. Lastly, updating your life insurance policy, beneficiaries and other estate-planning documents is vital. A CDFA and CPA can help with the complicated financial issues of divorce, including dividing assets, handling retirement accounts, tax considerations, and other nuances specific to your situation.

The Emotional Issues

Divorce can be a very emotional experience. Grief is a natural part of the divorce process, and many people will struggle with anger, sadness, confusion and fear. These emotions may be debilitating and cause one to lose concentration on their friends, family, and job. Divorce-related stress might increase levels of anxiety and depression. It can be detrimental to one’s health, both emotionally and physically. Individuals in this heightened state of stress should practice self-care by consuming healthy foods, limiting their alcohol intake and getting plenty of rest. In addition, divorce can give individuals greater control over their finances, which can be a great way to get back on track and start saving for the future.

The Kids Issues

Parents often forget that divorce can affect children as well. Young children will be affected, and many cannot articulate their feelings.

They may wonder why their parents divorced and what they could have done to prevent it. This guilt is very common and can cause serious problems. It is important to reassure them that it was nothing they did and that they have not been the reason for the separation. Communicating honestly with your kids and limiting the details is also important. It is okay to tell your kids why your marriage is ending, but long-winded explanations will only confuse them. Additionally, avoiding bad-mouthing your ex in front of the children is important.

The Legal Issues

When divorce occurs, various legal issues must be settled. These include property division, alimony and child custody. These matters often go to court, although alternatives like mediation and negotiation exist for couples willing to work together outside the courtroom. For example, a pre-or post-nuptial agreement may help you and your spouse decide how to split your property. However, this is only an option for some. Judges will also consider a variety of factors when determining property division. They will take into account whether or not you or your spouse wasted marital assets. Judges will look at what is in the child’s best interests for custody decisions. Children over 12 must attend their parents’ hearings regarding these issues, but younger children are not.

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