Every divorce will involve a certain level of stress. After all, it is a lawsuit and it does involve family – for most people that’s a double-whammy. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed as events unfold in the divorce process. In today’s post we begin sharing some tips and coping skills to help you maintain your balance before, during, and after divorce.
● Coping with Divorce: Enlist family and friends to lend a hand.
The first fact of marital separation is that the family’s domestic labor force has just been cut by half. Although some couples can separate and still maintain a domestic working relationship of sorts, hopes of keeping up the status quo often fade as the divorce progresses.
Maybe your spouse is still willing to take on the “Honey Do” list after the separation and assist with yard work, home repairs, finishing the remodel, or even cleaning out the garage. That would be the exception and not the rule, however. More likely, you’ll find yourself staring at the front yard, coffee mug in hand, wondering how you’ll get the weeds under control, get the bathroom remodel finished, and make it to night school when you’re working full time and raising children.
To help make up for the loss of your spouse’s sweat equity during and after the divorce, reach out to your family, friends, church, and neighbors for a helping hand when you need it. If you remain in the marital home, you will probably need some help from time to time with maintenance and repairs, at least until you develop new routines that work for you under the new family arrangement.
● Coping with Divorce: Budget your time, your most precious commodity.
Unless you’ve been through a divorce before (and every divorce is different), you really cannot appreciate the impact that it will have on your time. As with most lawsuits, there are crunch times – periods of intense activity when you’ll be cramming to prepare the case with your attorney. There will also be periods when nothing seems to be happening at all. Both circumstances bring their own kind of pressure. There’s the anxiety of having too much to do in too short a time. And there’s the anxiety of waiting for something to happen so you can DO SOMETHING.
You can reduce the divorce stress associated with both busy and slow periods by budgeting your time. When there is little work to be done on your family law case, keep preparing for what you know will be coming up. Don’t wait until you are in the crunch to get started, your anxiety level will only increase.
As emotionally draining as it may sometimes be, as much as you would rather procrastinate and do anything but work on your divorce, put time in daily to be action-ready. Take an hour every day to get your records organized into files so you can retrieve documents quickly when your divorce attorney requests them.
Keep calendaring upcoming events, so you can prepare for each phase of the divorce well in advance. Instead of worrying about a child custody hearing scheduled two months from now, write down your thoughts and concerns. Prepare your parenting plan. Think about the testimony that witnesses will provide. By staying prepared and budgeting your time, you’ll have greater control. Controlling what goes on around you, as best you are able, is the key to keeping your stress level in check.
In our next post, we’ll continue with tips on how to manage time and cope with stress in your Arizona divorce.
Arizona Divorce Resource: