Emotional turmoil is often a byproduct of major life changes. Even if your divorce is relieving or necessary, you can still struggle mentally and/or emotionally from the loss of your spouse. You may feel a mix of emotions, including confusion, anger, resentment, relief, fear, anxiety, fear, shame, and resentment. Some people who are getting divorced may:
- Isolate themselves from their friends and family
- Struggle with feelings of insecurity or resentment
- Act out in a destructive manner
- Feel an overwhelming sense of despair or hopelessness
- Feel guilty for envisioning a better future
How To Mentally & Emotionally Prepare for Divorce
Here are a few tips that you can use to help manage your mental and emotional health before and after your divorce.
- Establish a support network. Who can you turn to for emotional, physical, or financial support/advice? Whether you join a support group, set up a weekly coffee date with a friend, or call a close family member, be sure that you ask people to support you through the process and share your needs and boundaries.
- Strategize financially. Your financial situation can have a profound impact on your mental and emotional health. To avoid being extremely stressed or overwhelmed, begin to develop a financial strategy for during and after your divorce. Look at your marital budget and consider what financial responsibilities you will have to take on alone, whether you can handle those responsibilities with your income, and get organized.
- Give yourself time and space to grieve. Everyone’s grieving process will look different and can take a different amount of time, but it’s important that you give yourself enough time to grieve during and after your divorce. When you decide to end your marriage, you do not just grieve the relationship; you grieve future hopes and dreams, your sense of normalcy, and maybe even your sense of control. Healthy grieving involves honoring your emotions and taking the time to process and heal. Typically, you may go through five different emotional stages during your divorce: denial, anger, bargaining, grief/depression, and acceptance.
- Make room for your children’s feelings and grief. If you are a parent, your divorce can also have a large emotional impact on your child. Depending on their age and development stage, they will process and understand the divorce in their own way. They may have a lot of questions or may struggle with their own dark emotions concerning the end of the marriage. You should prepare to be empathetic and emotionally available to them.
- Give yourself grace. Some days may be harder than others. On bad days, don’t punish yourself for feeling what you need to feel. Instead, embrace and accept the bad days and feelings as part of the process.
- Prioritize self-care. Before the proceedings or process begins, implement a self-care routine or plan. Whether that’s taking a few hours each week for a hike or having a movie night with friends, be sure that you take time to recharge and take care of yourself.
How to Legally Prepare for Divorce
While getting divorced can be emotionally and mentally taxing, it is a legal process. You can prepare for the case legalities by:
- Researching your legal options. Uncontested, no-fault divorces take much less time than fault-based or contested divorces. You should consider researching firms, your filing options, and the divorce process in Pennsylvania so you have an idea of what is to come.
- Deciding (or considering) what you want. What do you want to walk away with concerning alimony, property, and child custody determinations? This is also the time to create a budget (if you already haven’t) that accounts for your financial responsibilities post-divorce so that you can decide if you need alimony or child support.
- Consulting with an experienced, reliable divorce attorney. Just like you need people to support you mentally and emotionally, you should also get professional legal help. An attorney and reliable firm have a lot more experience navigating divorce cases and can help make the process easier for you.
- Gathering important documents. You will need to have your tax and income information, a list of your separate and marital assets and debts, and copies of relevant legal documents (i.e pre- or postnuptial agreements, your marriage license, etc.). These documents are necessary as it relates to the division of property and alimony.
Comprehensive Divorce Services in PA
At Cairns Law Office, we pride ourselves on helping people ease the emotional stress and financial strain of divorce by offering simple, affordable divorce services. For only $249, our firm can help you file for and obtain a no-fault, uncontested divorce in Pennsylvania.
Schedule your consultation today by calling (888) 863-9115 or completing this online form.