- November 12, 2022
File Under: Divorce
Creating a Good Divorce From a Bad Marriage
No one enters a marriage expecting to get divorced. But for some couples, it is the best solution to a bad situation.
Some of the most common reasons why marriages end include infidelity, financial difficulties, frequent arguments, poor communication, and physical or emotional abuse. While some of these problems can be worked out, others can be deal-breakers. And when they arise, divorce may be the key to a happier future.
While divorce is often thought of as a time of drama and turmoil, it doesn’t have to be. With the right planning, execution, and help from a divorce attorney, you can turn your divorce into a positive experience — yes, even if your marriage was a total disaster. Here’s how.
Arguments are bound to happen during a divorce, but by communicating empathically, you can resolve conflict more constructively. Empathic communication involves trying to see things from your estranged spouse’s perspective and sharing your feelings in a non-defensive way.
It can be difficult to communicate empathically when you’re feeling hurt, angry, or resentful. But by making an effort to see things from your estranged spouse’s point of view, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls of divorce. For example, you’re less likely to engage in name-calling or make demands that are impossible to meet.
The point is not to agree with all of your estranged spouse’s views but to make a mutual decision to see things differently and work together for a resolution. The phrase “mutual decision” is key here — both parties need to be on board for this type of communication to work. To achieve this, you will need to establish some rules of engagement.
This can be done informally or, if necessary, through a divorce lawyer or mediator. Some ground rules to consider include making eye contact when speaking face-to-face, avoiding brash accusations toward one another, and allowing the other party to finish speaking before jumping in to defend themselves.
Unfortunately, not all people are willing to communicate empathically. If your spouse is unwilling to engage in this type of communication, you may need to take a different approach.
Set Clear Boundaries
Setting boundaries is essential for a healthy divorce, especially if your spouse refuses to communicate with you in a constructive way. Without them, you and your spouse may find yourselves constantly arguing or, worse, drawn back into the toxic relationship you were trying to escape.
There are two types of boundaries you’ll need to set: personal and financial. Personal boundaries relate to your physical and emotional well-being. For example, you might set a boundary that you will not tolerate any type of abuse or disrespectful behavior, and if this boundary is crossed, you will end the conversation.
Financial boundaries relate to your finances and property. This can be trickier as you’ll need to work out a fair financial settlement. However, the legal side of divorce can take time, so it’s important to set some preliminary financial boundaries as soon as possible. Be sure to speak with a family law attorney beforehand to ensure that these boundaries are fair and reasonable.
In either case, the key is to be as specific as possible when setting boundaries. This will help avoid misunderstandings or disagreements down the road. Once you’ve established your boundaries, stick to them — even if your spouse doesn’t.
Keep the Kids in Mind
Your kids didn’t ask for your divorce, and they shouldn’t have to suffer because of it. However, the reality is that divorce can be tough on them. They may feel caught in the middle or like they have to choose sides. They may act out in school or at home, and they may be more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.
The negative outcomes of divorce on children are often more pronounced when their parents fight in front of them or use them as pawns in heated arguments. In order to minimize the impact on your kids, it’s important to keep their best interests at heart.
This may mean co-parenting after your divorce more cooperatively or, if necessary, establishing some distance from your ex-spouse. It’s also crucial to avoid bad-mouthing your ex in front of the kids.
If possible, try to include both parents in the child’s life. Even if you’re not on the best of terms with your ex, it’s important to remember that they’re still your child’s other parent. A family law attorney can help you develop a parenting plan that considers your child’s best interests.
Your children may also feel like they don’t have a say in what happens to them. Making them feel like valued members of the family during this time can help them feel more secure. This involves giving them a voice in everyday decisions, such as family traditions, bedroom decor, and after-school activities.
Some people feel like they need to tough it out on their own, but there’s no shame in admitting that you need help. If you’re struggling to deal with the emotional fallout of your divorce, counseling can be an extremely effective way to cope and move forward. Licensed counselors can help you work through your feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
If you have children, family counseling may also be beneficial. This can help kids understand and process what’s happening in a healthy way. It can also teach them how to express their feelings productively.
You may even want to consider attending counseling with your ex-spouse. This can help you communicate more effectively and make joint decisions about parenting and other important issues.
Of course, counseling is not a magic bullet. Not everyone is ready or willing to open up about their feelings. But for those who are, it can be an invaluable tool for dealing with the challenges of divorce. If you’re unsure where to go for help, your family lawyer may have recommendations for local divorce counselors.
Create a New Life for Yourself
The end of a marriage is a major life transition. It’s an opportunity to start fresh and create a new life for yourself. This can be a daunting task, but it’s also an exciting one.
Think about what you want your life to look like after your divorce. What are your goals and aspirations? What are your interests and hobbies? This is your chance to rediscover yourself and create the life you’ve always wanted.
It’s important not to make any major decisions in the heat of the moment. If possible, wait until you’ve had time to process your divorce before making any big changes. Once you’re ready, though, don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue your dreams.
This is also an incredible opportunity to show your children how to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. They’re watching you closely, so set a good example by taking care of yourself and pursuing your passions.
Finally, when you’re ready to start dating again, you’ll be able to choose your next partner with the wisdom of hindsight. As a result, your children will have another chance to see what a healthy and supportive relationship looks like.
Nobody comes out of a divorce unscathed. It’s a difficult and emotionally charged process, even under the best of circumstances. But by following these tips and working with a qualified New Jersey divorce lawyer, you can minimize the damage and set yourself up for a bright future.
If you’re considering ending your New Jersey marriage, the divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law are here to help. With offices in Watchung and Red Bank, our family lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing, and we’ll work tirelessly to protect your interests. Contact us today at 908-645-1000 to schedule an initial review of your case. We look forward to helping you through this difficult time.