When you and your spouse decided to settle in Michigan and raise a family together, you no doubt expected that you would be together for a lifetime. As years passed, you may have had several children, bought a home, started a business, made some investments, and continued to build your own unique family legacy. Whether problems simmered for a long time or a cataclysmic event compelled you to file for a divorce, making the decision may have been emotionally traumatic.
You might have immediately began worrying about how to tell your children that you and their other parent have decided to go separate ways in life. There may have also been concerns about whether you have enough money to make ends meet for you and your kids in a single-income household. If you own a business, you might be wondering what the best course of action might be regarding ownership, assets and other priority issues. All these things can cause a heavy emotional burden.
Stay emotionally healthy as you navigate divorce
Divorce is going to disrupt your life and your children’s daily lives, as well — there’s no way around it. However, if you keep the ideas shown in the following list in mind, you and your kids may be able to stay emotionally healthy as you navigate life changes together:
- Keep all lines of communication open between you, your spouse and your children.
- Agree from the start to cooperate and compromise to avoid confrontation as you and your spouse negotiate terms of agreement for child custody, property division, spousal support and other issues.
- Avoid exposing your children to parental conflict, especially regarding custody issues.
- Reach out for support from a licensed counselor or other advocate who can help each family member process his or her emotions in a healthy, productive manner.
- Make sure everyone is staying physically healthy, making healthy food and drink choices, getting adequate sleep and staying physically active.
Communication is key to emotional health in a divorce. If one of your kids wants to talk to you or to both you and your spouse together, it is important that you provide the opportunity. It is also helpful to communicate your needs regarding a settlement in a non-confrontational way. Your kids will likely adapt to their new lifestyle in an emotionally healthy way if they witness their parents working together as a team to protect their best interests.
You do not have to navigate divorce on your own
Divorce may cause a mix of emotions, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cause so much emotional stress that you or your children become unable to function. Having a strong support network in place from the start can help you and your kids stay emotionally healthy. From extended family members, to trusted friends, school faculty, legal advocates, close neighbors and more, there are probably many people who can relate to your circumstances and are willing to do what they can to help.