How to divorce with respect

How to part ways with dignity and respect.

If your relationship is beyond repair and you’ve made the decision to go your separate ways, here are some guidelines on how to best handle divorce.

Do...Put your kids first

Separating from their other parent is going to have a big impact and possibly leave them feeling very upset, confused and vulnerable. Think about how this is affecting them and try to keep the situation as positive as possible, even if that is tricky.

Don't...Rely on your kids for emotional support

They may want to be there for you, especially older ones, but you are the grown-up in this situation and it is wrong to burden them with too much. Talk to your friends or peers, or even consider professional counselling.

Do...Consult a lawyer and then listen to what they have to say

They are the expert when it comes to dealing with divorces and will be acting in your best interest. They may know about all sorts of things you’re entitled to that you haven’t considered.

Don't...Rush into making big decisions

Such as who is going to live where and how marital property is going to be split up. You don’t want to later on regret something you do in the heat of the moment.

Do...Talk to your kids about what is going on

But spare them the nitty-gritty. They don’t need to know all the details, especially if they are still young. You can be honest about your other half without being nasty.

Don't...Leap into a rebound relationship

You may feel it’s one way of getting over your divorce and it can help you to feel wanted again, but rebound relationships often aren’t good for either party involved. Give yourself a bit of time to recover and regroup before moving on.

Do...Make sure your kids know this is not their fault

All too often children feel that they are somehow responsible.

Don't...Bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances

This can be a problem if it was your other half who took care of money matters. It is crucial to know how much money you have between you and how much you are entitled to.

Do...Make an effort to communicate with your ex

Especially if you have kids and need to organise custody arrangements. Unless they were abusive, it is a good idea to remain civil because there is a lot to sort out.

Don't...Live in the past

What happened, happened. Stop trying to analyse what went wrong and instead look to the future.

Do...Remember the good times

There must have been some. You don’t want the experience of a marriage that didn’t work out to leave you bitter, so take some good out of it.

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