27 Apr 3 Ways to Settle Your Divorce
Sometimes clients need a trial. Maybe there is an issue that spouses simply can’t agree on. Maybe one side is poking the other with a stick. Parties spar and you want a strong advocate to battle the opposing side. But yet sometimes people are not interested in battling it out anymore. One of the great things about being a human being is the power to create your own experience and mold your own future. If your situation doesn’t require full-blown Matlock, then there are things that you can do to help settle your divorce case.
If you are getting a divorce, you have to accept that it is over. You need to let go of the marriage and the life you once had. You need to let go of the stuff. That means furniture, collectables, perhaps even real estate. It’s all stuff. That isn’t to say the other side should be given an unfair amount. It just means that if you want to settle your case, then you shouldn’t spend a month fighting over a dresser. It’s all just stuff.
You need to let go of the stories and themes. It may seem impossible to remember now, but at one point you loved your spouse. He or she was great. And yes, that is true. But that story changed over time. Bad blood seeped in and the theme in your marriage became negative. It could be 100% their fault, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take that story around the rest of your life. Instead of letting the way it ended shape how you feel about the time spent together, reframe the story to the way it was at your happiest. Let that be your story. It will feel better to you in the long term.
You need to let go of feelings of failure and worries about the future. You didn’t fail, you succeeded. You got married. You were a great spouse, regardless of what whoever thinks now. It wasn’t all bad. It just wasn’t forever. And the future hasn’t happened yet. Let your future be shaped by positivity, not worry and fear.
Get the Emotion Out
This is a really, really hard thing to do while going through your divorce. But it is vital if you want to settle the hot issues. You have to separate the emotion from the issue. Let’s go back to that dresser. It’s just a dresser, right? Maybe, but perhaps it was a dresser that came from your deceased mother’s house. Maybe you painstakingly found that dresser at an antique shop and repaired it to a unique crisp condition. It’s not just a dresser, it’s a conversation piece. It represents effort, style, your personality, perhaps your family. That dresser is an archetype. And yet….it’s just a dresser. Separate the issue from the emotion.
When you are going through a divorce, it is also helpful to refuse negative reinforcement. Many spouses are purposely trying to “push buttons” or get the other party to engage in confrontations and battles. You have to treat it just like how you would have your child trying to get attention by being bad- ignore them. Put on your poker face and refuse to give attention to negative behavior. It might exist, but you do not have to be a part of it. Ignoring it will make it go away significantly quicker and will reduce the likelihood that your spouse will try it again.
You don’t have to wait until you get a signed Judgment to rebuild your life. It should be a constant process. The quicker you start and the sharper your focus, the easier it will be to resolve the divorce. You have the power to engineer your own life and this is a choice point that enables you to pick a better life for yourself. So how do you do it?
Focus on Gratitude. If you can appreciate what you have, two things will happen. First, you will feel better. Second, you will get more. Keep a journal on your nightstand and write a short list every night of things you are grateful for. It could be as simple as being grateful for a delicious dinner or springtime weather. Maybe you are letting go of the dresser, but you are grateful for the resolution.
Re-evaluate your Priorities. In my opinion, 75% of all divorces have some component of breakdown due to lifestyle. In a country where two income families are not only the norm, but also mostly necessary, stress in the home is rampant. Part of your dissolution is very likely the result of the stress in your home. This is a great time to evaluate your coping mechanisms. Do you take care of yourself? Do you have a hobby or outlet to keep you going? You should also evaluate your financial lifestyle. Is keeping up with the Jones’s tearing you apart? Perhaps choosing less stress and more savings over more house is in order. Only you have the ability to increase your coping and decrease your stress as you move forward.
Surround yourself with feel-goods. This is vital during a divorce and, in my opinion, in during life. It’s chaos out there. It can feel like chaos in litigation when your life and property is on the line. Make sure you have a tribe around you that is positive and supportive. If you don’t, find one. Don’t spend time with your friends ranting about your ex- spend time with them doing things that make you smile, laugh, or otherwise feel good.
To sum it all up, get yourself in a good place mentally and start moving on with the rest of your life. It will give you perspective on all of the issues involved in your divorce, and will enable you to disengage from a potentially argumentative spouse.
Written by Melissa Harper, St Louis Divorce Lawyer