If you’re like many women, the thought of divorce has crossed your mind from time to time – and you’re still sitting on the fence about whether it’s the right choice for you, your children, and even your spouse. When you’re considering a split from your partner, you need specific divorce advice for women… that way, you can make the most informed decision possible.
Divorce Advice for Women: 15 Things Most People Won’t Tell You
Check out these 15 pieces of divorce advice for women while you’re evaluating your options:
- Make sure you’re really ready for divorce.
- Talk to a therapist.
- Take your kids to a therapist.
- Get all the information you can.
- Set goals.
- Shore up your support network.
- Commit to putting your children first.
- Get copies of all your financial documents.
- Decide to negotiate with your spouse.
- Keep your eye on the “big picture.”
- Foster a good relationship between your kids and their other parent.
- Look at divorce like a business transaction.
- Don’t get divorce advice from Facebook.
- Be prepared for other relationships to change.
- Be kind to yourself.
Here’s a closer look at each piece of divorce advice.
#1. Make sure you’re really ready for divorce.
When you tell your spouse you want a divorce, and especially when you actually file for divorce, you’re crossing a line that you can’t usually go back over. It’s like a set of dominoes – and once you push the first one over, you’re committed.
#2. Talk to a therapist.
Even if you’ve been thinking about divorce for a long time, you’ll most likely experience grief over the loss of your relationship. It’s a good idea to talk to a divorce therapist who’s trained in helping people cope with difficult situations.
#3. Take your kids to a therapist.
Your kids are seeing your divorce from a different angle, and they’ll most likely benefit from talking to a therapist, too. You can all see the same therapist – together and in separate sessions – to keep your family on the same page. Of all the divorce advice for women available, this may be one of the most valuable pieces.
#5. Set goals.
Don’t leave the outcome of your divorce up to chance. Set goals and make a plan to reach them. While there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule in any case, you need a roadmap to get where you want to be.
Friends and family are a vital support network during divorce. Just be prepared for the fact that some people feel like divorce is “contagious” or that they won’t know what to say to you… and let them know just being there is enough.
You may be hurt, angry, afraid and upset – but no matter what, if you have children, they must come first in your divorce. That means doing what’s best for them, even if it doesn’t feel like doing what’s best for you. It also means being honest with yourself about what’s best for them, such as spending enough time with their other parent. This isn’t just divorce advice for women, either; it goes for men, too.
Related: Divorce with kids
#8. Get copies of all your financial documents.
Before you even file for divorce, make sure you have copies of all your financial statements (and access to them in the future), your mortgage information, and other important documents.
Related: 5 divorce finance tips
When you and your spouse are able to find common ground on all the important issues, your divorce will be less painful (financially and emotionally) than it would be if you fought over everything. Commit to trying to negotiate with each other so you can both be reasonably satisfied with the outcome.
#10. Keep your eye on the “big picture.”
Remember that divorce is a means to an end, and it won’t last forever – even if it feels like it. During your divorce, you’ll have to focus on what really matters: your children, your life post-divorce, and being reasonably satisfied with the outcome. Some of the best divorce advice for women we can give is to stay focused on the goal throughout the entire process.
#11. Foster a good relationship between your kids and their other parent.
Your main responsibility is to your children, and it’s up to you to make sure you’re doing your part to foster healthy parent-child relationships… and that goes for you and their other parent. Kids whose parents try to drive wedges in their relationships have a harder time recovering – and a harder time trusting – than children whose parents make sure they know they’re loved and cared for on both sides of the aisle.
Divorce is the legal dissolution of your marriage contract, so try your best to treat it that way. You’ll be emotional – everyone is – but remember that it’s a transaction between you and your spouse. Don’t try to use the courts for emotional justice, because you won’t find it there (and it could even backfire horribly).
#13. Don’t get divorce advice from Facebook.
Avoid putting any of the details of your divorce on Facebook – even if you’re asking a private group for advice. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your friends and family; you should absolutely do that. Just keep it off social media because it can come back to bite you later. (This isn’t just divorce advice for women. It goes for men, too.)
Related: Social media and your divorce
#14. Be prepared for other relationships to change.
When people find out that you’re divorcing, they might not know how to handle it – and you may even lose some friends you made as a couple. People often feel like they have to take sides, but that’s not always the case; in fact, some people, in an effort to avoid taking sides, will avoid being there for you or your spouse. A lot of people just don’t know what to say, or they’re afraid that divorce is somehow “contagious,” so you may experience uncomfortable distance between you and some of the people you trust.
Divorce is rough – nobody can argue that. But remember: You don’t need to do everything perfectly. The house can get messy, you can cry, you can let the laundry go. Be kind to yourself and avoid beating yourself up over things. Remember, too, that you have to take care of your body by getting enough sleep, taking it easy on caffeine and alcohol, and getting enough exercise so your mind can be as sharp as possible when you’re making all these big decisions.
Are You Thinking About Divorce?
If you’re considering divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. Call us at (209) 546-6870. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and other divorce-related issues.