You will be surprised by some of the things that will happen during your divorce.
Through my experience as a divorce attorney, being a child of divorce and being a recent divorcee myself, I have a lot of insight on what to expect. Here are some of the most common trends I’ve observed throughout the years:
1. Expect Your Divorce To Take Longer Than You Think
Expect to spend a lot of time waiting during your divorce. The litigation process is a slow one and the court will give a lot of adjournments in an effort to get you to settle. Even if your divorce is uncontested be prepared to wait months for your judgment to be signed.
2. Expect to feel a variety of emotions.
At various points during your divorce you are going to feel happy, sad, depressed, ecstatic and angry. Don’t be alarmed at the emotional roller coaster, it’s all part of the process of grieving for the end of your marriage. Now is the time to talk to a therapist or find a reliable support system.
3. Expect to be judged.
Once it gets out that you are getting a divorce, everyone you know will have a comment or opinion. Brace yourself for it. Don’t be afraid to take a break from social media or cut people off who are giving you negative vibes.
4. Expect for your ex to be petty.
No matter how reasonable you think your soon to be ex is, divorce makes people petty so be prepared to argue over something ridiculous. I’ve seen settlement negotiations fall apart over Tupperware, books, shoes, a fish, and a magazine collection. My ex and I had a shouting match about drinking glasses. When emotions run high, insignificant things seem important.
The key is to try to keep it all in context and catch yourself when you feel yourself getting sucked into a petty argument. Having a good lawyer who will keep you focused helps too.
5. Expect to make a drastic change to your appearance.
Many people lose weight, dye their hair, get a tattoo or make some other change to celebrate their new-found freedom.
6. Expect your kids to be resilient.
During your divorce, the transition for your children may be tough, but once they adapt to the new schedule and way of life, they will be fine. Remember, you got divorced for a reason and whatever tension and stress was in your house before is no longer there. Children will always be better off with separate but happy parents than miserable parents who are together.
If your children are struggling consider counseling and do whatever you can to make them feel secure. Usually stress and anxiety occurs when the child feels like they don’t know what is going to happen next. Keep open lines of communication so you can give them whatever assistance they need.
7. Expect to feel like you are losing.
In divorce, no one ever gets everything they want. So at some point in the process both parties will feel like they are losing. Just remember to keep it all in perspective and to look at the big picture. Some things are worth giving up for your freedom.
8. Expect your ex to start dating right away.
This does not always happen, but if you expect it you can be emotionally prepared. Just because you don’t want to be with your spouse anymore does not mean it won’t hurt to see them with someone else.
You might surprise yourself by being the one to date during divorce first.
What surprised you the most during your divorce? Comment below!