Although divorce can be extremely disruptive to your life, it doesn't have to destroy it. You can rise to the occasion and rebuild your life. Here are some best practices.
1. Have A Clear And Enforceable Custody And Visitation Agreement
This is part of setting boundaries and clear expectations. It is also part of reclaiming your time and schedule as your own.
It often doesn't occur to anyone how important this is until after it becomes a problem. Coordinating schedules and sharing custody while married and living together may not have seemed like a huge imposition, but things get a lot more complicated when you split up. This can be a primary means to mess with your life vindictively, whether intentionally or not.
Don't let your ex impose on your time and life excessively. If they try to do so, get help from a child custody attorney knowledgeable about what you can reasonably expect and put it in writing.
2. Look At Time Apart From Your Child As "Me Time"
For many parents, one of the hardest parts of sharing custody is time apart from their child. But most parents find it challenging to find time for themselves.
If you have a solid visitation agreement formulated by a skilled Suffolk family law attorney, regularly scheduled visitation with the other parent can be a time for you to schedule hobbies, meet-and-greet events, or classes. It can also just be a good time to sleep late and do nothing. Try to appreciate the upside instead of focusing on how much you miss your child.
3. Try To Figure Out Who You Are As An Individual
If you have been married for years and are used to following your old routine, you may no longer know who you are as an individual. For example, you watch the same television shows you watched with your ex-spouse or eat food that your ex liked, or maybe you even only wore clothes that they wanted you to buy. After you get divorced, you may find yourself continuing to eat at restaurants you don't prefer and wearing clothes you don't really like out of habit, not because it's who you really are.
Some people revisit old hobbies to try to connect to their individual identity. Other people try new things they've never tried before. You don't have to wholesale reject everything about your identity from when you were married. Just keep in mind you now have a choice and don't have to be a prisoner of unstated expectations from your life as a married person.
4. Get Your Finances In Order
You don't want to be too cutthroat and adversarial in trying to claim what is rightfully yours in the divorce. At the same time, you don't want to be a doormat -- especially if there are children involved. You need to be in good shape financially for their sake. Caring for them requires the means to do so. It's not enough to just give your time to them.
If you aren't sure what is reasonable, a good child custody attorney can help you sort that out. This may be your first time going through this, but they have seen it all before. They also know the law and standard formulas for reasonably dividing the assets. When you feel your judgment is clouded by strong emotion or simply lack adequate information, a call to the family law attorney handling your case should promptly go on your "to-do" list as a high priority item.
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
It's great to be all proactive, set goals, and fight for your rights. In fact, it's very necessary.
But that doesn't mean that everything needs to be perfect and it doesn't mean it all has to happen fast. Sometimes, things take the time they take. Sometimes, you need just to relax a little and accept that it won't always be perfect.
Making yourself crazy with pressure to perform and do everything right will just make things worse, not better. Give yourself some room to be imperfect, need a breather, and not always get things exactly right the first try. It will make it much easier to come back later and try again on a different day when you've had more sleep.
Contact a Suffolk Divorce Lawyer
If you are struggling with the divorce process or have questions about your case, don't hesitate to contact a Suffolk divorce attorney. At Bush & Taylor, P.C., we are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients. We will walk you through your divorce to ensure your best interests are the number one priority.
Call us today at (757) 926-0078 to set up a consultation with our Suffolk divorce lawyers.