Taking control - how to reduce stress during separation and divorce
It goes without saying that splitting up with a partner is a stressful process whether you have been married or living together. For couples ending a marriage, rather than a cohabiting relationship, it will more than likely involve lawyers to some extent.
Using collaborative rather than adversarial lawyers will help you and your ex-partner avoid getting into long, bitter drawn out battles that are bad for both you and your children. But if you and your ex can try and take greater control of the situation and communicate in a respectful way then your divorce is likely to be quicker, less expensive and less stressful.
Of course this is easier said than done and for some couples not possible.
But if you can agree some basic rules in terms of how you will communicate at the start of the process you may be able to avoid a long battle in which the only winners are lawyers.
Looking at the Getting it Right for Children course for help can be a good place to begin http://theparentconnection.org.uk/programmes/programmes/getting-it-right-for-children-when-parents-part
The course will show you how to work on skills that can establish some effective ways of communicating from the start of the separation process and beyond. The course is based on a tried and tested way of learning the really core skills that lead to better communication between you and your ex.
- Staying calm and listening
- Seeing things differently
- Speaking for yourself, sticking to the point and the rules
- Working it out
Alongside setting some ground rules with each other it’s also a good idea to read up on the legal side of things so you feel that you are in control of your divorce or separation. The Legal Ombudsman has a new guide that can help you decide some key decisions and what to think about when using a lawyer to help with your separation.
The guide is based on common issues and complaints and includes top tips of what you can do to help make the right decision if you are getting a divorce. The guide can help make sure the legal side of things runs more smoothly and how to avoid some of the stress and upset to do with issues around finances and property.
You can download a copy of the guide here http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/downloads/documents/publications/Using-a-divorce-lawyer-ten-helpful-tips.pdf