Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.

– Denis Waitley

Divorce • Family law • estate planning
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Civility can be helpful in divorce

When experiencing a divorce, spouses can often be contentious and bitter toward each other, but this does not have to be the case. In order to avert a financial and emotional disaster, spouses should consider the way in which they treat their partner just prior to and during the separation.

For instance, if the separation is sudden or communicated to the other spouse in a manner that is callous, it is likely that the divorce will have lasting effects that are emotionally and financially harmful. In order to avoid a catastrophic divorce, it is best to be compassionate in the way that you communicate to your spouse that a divorce is needed.

Both spouses are advised to be involved in the decision to part ways as soon as possible. Attending counseling sessions together can help to alleviate any feelings of being hurt or disappointed. In a situation in which one spouse is prepared to divorce, but the other is not, the one who is prepared should exercise patience with the other spouse. The one who is filing for divorce should not try to expedite matters in an effort to finalize the divorce as quickly as possible.

It is also recommended that divorcing spouses avoid making any significant changes in their lives, such as the purchase of a major asset or a change in employment. Inasmuch as divorce represents a considerable change to your family structure, any other change could cause you additional stress. Having some consistency will save your energy, and you will be in a better position to adapt and heal.

Furthermore, those of you who know someone who is going through a divorce should be mindful of the fact that siding with one spouse could exacerbate the situation. If you only listen to one spouse’s opinion, and support that spouse by maligning the other spouse, that spouse will be labeled as the wrongdoer. And the consequences of such behavior can be even more detrimental if there are children involved.

It would be preferable to be a good listener, and encourage your friend to be more respectful of the other spouse. In this way, an emotionally stressful time can be endured without inflicting permanent damage.

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