It is a sad fact that many people do not want to acknowledge but the truth is many marriages end in divorce. In fact, approximately one third of marriages these days will fail with spouses going their separate ways.

Divorce is a subject that makes people naturally uncomfortable because nobody like to think that their love affair is going to end badly. Discussing divorce is akin to talking about death - few people like to admit that it can affect their lives.

Unfortunately the hard reality will mean that many of us will indeed have to deal with the pain and trauma of divorce.

If your marriage has come to an end, and you are facing the prospect of divorce, what things should you do, or expect to feel, during this very difficult time in your life? Following is a list of things you can do to make the period easier.

1) Understand your emotions

Despite the wealth of information about separation and divorce, it is still a highly under-rated event in people’s lives.

Indeed many people do not realize that separation and divorce is frequently as traumatic as the death of a loved one. With over ten percent of the population involved in divorce, it is important to understand what it might mean.

Divorce means you are losing the person that you have built your life with, and thought you would spend the rest of your days with. When your relationship ends, you have to make enormous adjustments both emotionally, financially and practically to accommodate their absence in your life.

Psychologists suggest that most people that go through separation should prepare themselves for the same stages of emotion that you would experience if a loved one did in fact die.

You must allow yourself to grieve in order to get over the loss. What’s more you have to remember that the internal work of grief is a process, a personal journey that is unique to you.

It does not simply end on a particular day or date, but rather you will “work through” your grief until your pain ebbs away. And there are five distinct stages to grieving that you are likely to encounter, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

2) Counseling and support

Separation and divorce is such a tumultuous time that many people benefit from seeking the assistance of a counselor or joining a support group.

While talking with friends is always normal, some people that are embroiled in a divorce can unwittingly lean too heavily on friends and family. More importantly it is never appropriate to discuss the divorce and any related grievances with children of the relationship.

According to many counselors, it is imperative that parents do not involve their children in their disputes, so discussing any anguish, fights or pain with the kids is out!

Likewise it is generally not advisable to bring your domestic problems to work. The best way to ensure that you get the emotional help and support that you need, without jeopardizing your work, friendships or relationship with your children is to “emotionally outsource” by visiting a counselor or attending a support group.

The benefit of seeing a counselor or joining a support group is that the people you will be discussing your feelings are neutral, independent and not involved.
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3) Legal advice

Often parties that are separating will not seek legal advice straight away. While this is common, it can have a serious impact on your future arrangements, especially with regard to children of the marriage.

When it comes to custody and parenting arrangements, the law pays particular attention to the routine that you set up for your children post-separation.

The law is loath to upset any well-established pattern of custody and care. So, if the children informally start spending the majority of time with your partner, and only fortnightly weekend visits with you, you might find the courts will refuse to disturb that arrangement down the track. Seeking legal advice with regard to custody and parenting arrangements is imperative when it appears clear that you and your partner are not going to reconcile.

The same goes for property matters. Even though it is hard to face the details of separation straight away, the sooner you get your legal affairs in order, the better.

4) Stay healthy, busy with work and engage in new activities

Although separation is extremely hard, you will weather it! As hard as it is to be positive, try to see this as a juncture in your life whereby you will renew yourself and start over.

Once the pain and hardship of divorce is over, many people look at the experience and conclude it was a very constructive turning point in their life. Renewing your interest in hobbies, focusing on your health and taking up new past-times are some of the ways you can turn divorce into something very empowering.

Like all trauma, separation and divorce can be a period of rebirth.


San Diego Divorce Lawyer, The Law Office of Michael C. MacNeil,
12707 High Bluff Dr #200
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 922-7098


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