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Making sound decisions can be difficult when you’re in the midst of a divorce. The stress of this major life change can cause people to do or say things they normally wouldn’t, and people often make decisions that come back to haunt them.
This can happen to anyone, even the most rational and level headed among us. To help you avoid these bad decisions, here are six ways to make sure you’re not letting stress and emotions get the most of you during your divorce.
Six Keys to Making Good Decisions During Your Divorce
When you’re faced with decisions during your divorce, keep these six things in mind:
1. Think Before You Act
During a divorce, emotions can cause us to act without thinking. It's easier said that done, but it's important to not to let your emotions get the best of you. Always take time to think before making a decision. Our instincts and initial reactions will quite often betray us and lead us to terrible mistakes during times of high stress.
Practice thinking first, especially in these situations:
- Avoid responding to texts or emails immediately, especially if you think they were sent to elicit an emotional response or rile you.
- Never reject offers or requests immediately because you are angry.
- Avoid confronting an estranged spouse when you are upset. Take the time to think about what you are going to say and why you are saying it.
- Never express frustration or pain in a way that involves your children.
- Get advice from a trusted source and think about what you are trying to accomplish with any act.
Talking to others like counselors and friends/family for emotional support is a great idea and can be extremely helpful. Just be sure to avoid surrounding yourself with cheerleaders, "yes" people, or negative influences who will affect your decision making.
2. Gather Information Before Making Decisions
Part of thinking before making decisions should be gathering information. Information is your biggest ally because without it, you can’t make great decisions. And when you are dealing with the future of your family and your finances in a divorce, you should put yourself in a position to make the best decisions possible.
3. Avoid Thinking About the Past
During a divorce, it’s normal to think about the past and wonder where things went wrong, how things used to be, or how you were wronged by your estranged spouse. This is not particularly helpful when making decisions, though.
Thinking about the past may bring up feelings of anger or, on the other hand, nostalgic trust. Neither of these feelings are useful in effective long term decision making, as they affect our rationality. Use the past to gain some perspective of what problems will likely occur in the future, but don’t make decisions based solely on the events of the past.
4. Consider the Present
It’s no secret that divorce changes your life. When making decisions, think about your new reality, but know that things won't always be the way they are right now. For example, you will likely be going from a two-income household to a one-income household. Make immediate plans based on your income and adjust them as the transition period winds down and you settle into your new life.
5. Look Toward the Future
Keep in mind that the post-divorce period is difficult, but it won’t last forever, so don’t make decisions as if it will. If you have children, you will still have to interact with your soon-to-be-former spouse and it will be easier for everyone involved if you can be cordial. Rash decisions during your divorce can ruin your relationship, impacting you and your child(ren) for years to come.
And when it comes to your own personal growth post-divorce, set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. If you want to move to a new city, buy a new house, get a new job, go back to school, or just adjust to your new life, you need to think about what that looks like and factor that into all decisions.
6. Trust the Advice of a Divorce Attorney
A good family lawyer will counsel their clients to avoid snap decisions that could have a negative impact on their life or legal situation. This involves all of the above: obtaining all information possible and considering what has happened, what is happening, and what they want to happen in the future. Using this information, we can identify the legal steps we need to take to ensure a positive new start towards a happy future.
Contact a Raleigh Attorney For Guidance During Your Divorce
Speaking to a divorce attorney in Raleigh can help you avoid making costly mistakes during your divorce. Contact a member of our team by completing the contact form below or by calling 919-296-1638.
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