5 Things You Must Know Before Getting Divorced

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5 Things You Must Know Before Getting Divorced [EXPERT]
Thinking of getting divorced? Here are five steps to navigate this process with ease and integrity.

You've done everything you can to make the marriage work. You've been to more than one marriage counselor, you've read every book on how to make a marriage great, and you've struggled with the consequences for both you and your children on calling it quits. You've come to the painful conclusion that no matter how much you want your marriage to work, it simply does not. You submit to the reality of divorce and you're ready to take that final step out of your marriage and into the unknown territory of navigating a divorce.

Divorce, no matter what the circumstances, is a painful process. It is hard to let go of someone with whom you planned on spending your life. If you have children together, you must face the realities of single parenthood and supporting your children through the difficult transition. There is a lot to grieve and a lot to do.

Having been through a divorce myself (with small children) and having counseled hundreds of couples in varying circumstances, I can't give you any magic pill to make the process pain-free. However, I can offer some solid advice to help smooth out the waters and give you an edge on how to approach your divorce with more grace and dignity. Here are five guidelines to help you navigate your divorce with more ease.

1. Be aware of your anxieties and fears. There are so many changes and unknowns that show up during a separation and divorce. It is normal for them to wreak havoc on the process. The first thing you need to do is to be aware of your emotions. Identifying your feelings and what is driving them will allow you to manage them better.

2. Separate your emotions and fears from your negotiations. People get into trouble and create unnecessary legal and emotional battles when their emotions are running the show. You may be anxious about how you will be able to financially support yourself or about how much time you will have with your children. While these issues understandably create a lot of anxiety, it is imperative to address these important issues in a rational and constructive manner. In doing so, you will create a more cooperative approach as opposed to a combative and competitive one. Divorced & Dating? Why You Haven't Met Mr. Right

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Julie Orlov

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Julie Orlov, MAOL, MSW, LCSW
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