For many people, going through a divorce is a combination of different feelings—anger, embarrassment, sadness. In the moment and during the process, it’s easy to see why so many people feel that they’re never going to be able to adapt to the new logistic, emotional and financial position. However, many divorced people are still able to have a healthy relationship with their former spouses and create healthy lives for themselves. Here’s what generally goes into such a scenario.
Before talking about how important it is for people to try and create a positive atmosphere in the wake of a divorce, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t let a desire to make things peaceful keep you from asserting your rights when absolutely needed.
One good example of this is child support. According to the Cedar Rapids enforcing child support attorneys at Arenson Law, “there are legal options for enforcing child support. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to properly use the legal system, mainly due to how complex it is. Failing to follow the proper procedures can result in the loss of payment owed or even a breach of the law on your part. To make sure you avoid issues you will need someone with the knowledge to guide you through the legal system.”
So, if your former spouse is not paying to what has already agreed upon, don’t feel that you shouldn’t act because you “don’t want to make waves.” This doesn’t mean you should go in the other direction, but when you make an arrangement after a divorce, expect it to be honored. This goes into one of the greater themes of creating a healthy atmosphere after a divorce: supportive co-parenting.
Co-parenting can be difficult, especially if you and your former partner had disagreements on the best way to do certain things, but many parents make it work well. The first thing you need to do is find a balance between where you need to be in agreement and where you can differ. In general, different people are going to have different approaches to parenting, and that’s okay. Where things can be difficult, especially for younger children, is when expectations change. One parent may be more firm with their discipline, but both parents should have similar rules, like regarding school, bedtime, and other basic things.
To do this effectively, you need to open up communication with your former partner, which can be quite difficult when there are lingering emotions in the mix. If it helps, try to treat this as more of a business arrangement, with the business being the well-being of your children. This allows you to stay neutral and respectful, while also knowing when it makes sense to negotiate on something and when to pass it over. Try to communicate regularly and keep the conversation on the children to avoid other issues affecting the matters at hand.
This can be tough, but the rewards are well worth it, as children in stable co-parenting households are far more likely to thrive emotionally, and in other areas as well.
As one final point, creating a healthy atmosphere after a divorce also includes making some self-care time for yourself as well. Ending a long-term relationship, combined with the major adjustments you may have to make in your own life, leads to a major impact on your mental health. There are a few things you can do here. Adding some inexpensive furniture to your home or shuffling the furniture around may do a little bit to give you the perception of a renewed space. In addition, especially right after the divorce, it’s important to try and sprinkle in some of your favorite activities, just to give you some respite. Even something as simple as getting more exercise can help with your mental health.
If you need to take things to another level, there’s nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. Even if you’re not dealing with mental health symptoms, many people benefit from being able to speak freely about their issues without any fear of judgment or repercussions.
In some cases, it’s important to have tempered expectations. While a peaceful co-parenting situation is the ideal, sometimes it’s not going to be possible for reasons outside of your control. The best thing you can do is not get into the mindset that you need to tackle every challenge alone. Even outside of your former partner, there are always going to be friends and family that you can help lean on during this time of transition. In addition, you can also look at outside resources to try and get practical and emotional help for the future.
*This is a collaborative post