Divorce is the legal process that makes official the end of your marital relationship. However, emotionally, you have probably already long since passed the point of no return. By the time one spouse decides to file, both partners may be ready to take the gloves off and take a few metaphorical swings at each other.
For that reason, divorce proceedings have a reputation for being messy and downright ugly. People air their dirty laundry in public, conduct smear campaigns on social media and even try to turn children against their ex.
You can know that you want to get a divorce without wanting to totally destroy the life of your former spouse or drag their name through the mud. How can you prevent a divorce from becoming a major ordeal for your family?
1) Don’t use the courts to settle all of your issues
One of the factors that feed into acrimony between former spouses is how litigation pits one against the other. If you file a contested divorce, you will likely view one another as the enemy in those proceedings and act accordingly.
If you can find a way to collaborate, possibly through mediation, you can file an uncontested divorce. That way, you see your ex is someone you need to work with, rather than someone you should fight. Those worried they may file for divorce soon but still hoping to save their marriage might consider drafting a post-nuptial agreement to structure any potential future separation.
2) Handle your emotions the right way
People have a lot of feelings during divorce, but that doesn’t mean they have to take them out on their ex or let their emotions determine their behavior. If you try to identify and manage your emotional responses to divorce, you will be able to make more rational decisions throughout the process and keep how angry you are to a minimum.
Therapy, support groups and even creative outlets can help you handle your feelings so that they don’t bubble up in places where they could cause real harm.
3) Take a step back from social media
Posting online can connect you with people going through similar experiences or help your existing network of friends understand your circumstances. In divorce, the strong feelings you have may lead to oversharing of things that affect your reputation or even your ex’s.
The things you say on social media cannot just make you angrier but could also affect the court case if your posts wind up used as evidence by your ex. If you want to keep things civil, managing your emotions and trying to treat your ex with respect throughout the process can go a long way toward helping you achieve your goal. Exploring options like divorce mediation can help.