Article by Sara Davison
WARNING: It is NOT easy to have a good divorce – but it is possible.
There is a good reason that it is known as the second most traumatic experience in life after death of a loved one. It is an emotional rollercoaster and has a huge ripple effect across your entire world. It will affect your mental and physical health, lifestyle, daily routine, children, work life, friends and family.
We see the ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ celebrities who release amicable and loving statements on Twitter – and frankly I admire them for this. It is without a shadow of a doubt better for everyone involved if you can split in a friendly way and minimise the stress and anguish. If you can do the right thing by your ex and breakup with respect and the understanding that no matter what difficulties come up, you will navigate them with each other’s best interests at heart that will always be the better path to take.
However doing the right thing is rarely the easy thing. When pressure is put on you and life changing decisions have to be made about finances and lifestyle it is all too normal to see even the most amicable of exes fall out. It is normal to want to protect yourself moving forwards as the future after a divorce is uncertain and needs careful planning.
What defines a Good Divorce?
What defines a good divorce? I would say it means not only maintain respect for ex and being kind… but also something else – something even more important. It means rediscovering who you are now you’re single so that you can redesign your life just the way you want it. To create a new life path that you are excited about and that makes you happy.
So what can you do to improve your chances of a good divorce and avoid unnecessary falls outs and pressure. Here are my 12 top tips on how to have a good divorce:
12 top tips on how to have a good divorce:
- Talk with your ex and discuss how you will manage the uncertainty moving forward. If you can both agree to always treat each other with kindness and respect this creates a strong foundation to move forward from.
- Don’t bad mouth your ex to others as this may well get back to them and make things worse. Of course you can be honest with your inner circle of select friends and family but avoid openly discussing your ex in public.
- Pick your battles. In the heat of the moment it is easy to get worked up over the little things. Take a step back and work out if you will really care about this in a few months’ time. This will help you to get perspective on what is important and what is emotion getting the better of you.
- Start redesigning your future and planning things to look forward to. If you are excited about what lies ahead then it will be easier to move forward. Shifting your focus to what opportunities this divorce brings and making them a reality will really help you to let go and give you momentum.
- An amicable divorce doesn’t mean you don’t need legal advice. A legal advisor will give you clarity about what to expect from your split. This will ensure you make the best decision for you and you won’t have any regrets in the future.
- Avoid people who are emotionally involved in your divorce and who may inadvertently pour fuel on the fire or make you worry about what lies ahead. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself and are excited about your future.
- It’s ok to feel sad about your divorce. In fact it’s normal to grieve the end of your relationship even if it is amicable. Feeling upset is the way your body processes the end of a partnership that meant a lot to you and it helps you heal. Stuffing your emotions down and not facing them will only mean you drag your baggage forward with you.
- If you have worries, then get advice from experts in the areas you are concerned about. For example if you are concerned about finances then find someone who can help you create a plan for your situation which will enable you to feel more positive about the future.
- Exercise is a great way to instantly boost your state of mind. Even a brisk walk around the block will help you feel better and help you stay in control of your emotions.
- Take time for you to relax and have some fun. It’s important to have fun things in your diary so you are not all consumed with the divorce. There is more to life than relationships and you need to maintain a healthy balance in other areas of interest too.
- Take some time to work out what went wrong with your relationship, so you can learn from any mistakes and anything you would do differently next time round. It’s always good to take some time to work out what you want and who you are now you are single before you jump into a new relationship. You will find lots of new and exciting things that will help empower you to enjoy your new life.
- Spring clean your life. Create a plan for the life you want to live and the person you want to become. Out with the old and in with the new. Try new things, do things differently and make small changes that add more sparkle to your life.
A good divorce is one that is fair and respectful and enables you to have the best chance of an amicable relationship with your ex in the future. But most importantly it is one where you rediscover who YOU are and gets you excited and hopeful about your future.
Sara Davison, best known as ‘The Divorce Coach’ is one of the UK’s most sought after authorities on break-up and divorce. As the recognised authority in the field of break-up and divorce, Sara is a regular media commentator and frequently features on TV programmes such as ITV’s This Morning, BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio London, as well as Daily Mail and Stylist magazine. After launching the UK’s first ever Breakup Recovery Retreat, Sara’s concept was commissioned for a TV show “Heartbreak Hotel’ which broadcast as a pilot on TV3 in Ireland in a prime time slot earlier this year.
Most recently, she has been asked to consult to the Ministry of Justice as part of their review of proposals to reform the current archaic divorce laws following the Owen vs Owens case earlier this year.