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Divorce, not just tough on the wallet

Volumes have been written about the financial toll a divorce takes on a couple, but what about the emotional toll? Divorcing couples also must come to terms with what may be awaiting them right around the corner. It is often suggested that newly divorced couples in Louisiana and throughout the nation should remember that divorce is a difficult transition and is not always emotionally straightforward. A recent article provided some important points for couples going through divorce to contemplate:

  • Recognize that divorce is the termination of a marriage.

The person seeking the divorce could have some excitement about a new life. For both spouses, there could be relief that the stress and fighting will cease. But nonetheless, it is an ending to something that once held a lot of promise.

  • It is also important that divorcing spouses try not to romanticize and fantasize that the relationship will magically transform to be immediately more productive, especially when children are involved. Co-parenting takes work and does not occur overnight.

Try not to fool yourself to think that following a divorce you and your soon-to-be former spouse will co-parent and agree on everything from curfew to homework. For many, this is an unlikely situation off the bat. The fact is that co-parenting can be a challenge in the aftermath of a divorce, particularly when one spouse or the other may still feel the bitterness of the split.

Frustration and resentment can be predominantly pointed emotions if an ex-spouse has a new partner who is spending time with your children. A new person in the lives of an ex-partner and your children can add to the resentment and conflict.

  • Be realistic about what can be expected right after a divorce. Communication is still essential for the emotional stability of the children.

When married, most couples have a chance to share in a steady dialogue with some sort of influence over decision making. During a divorce, the opportunity for conversation can change. Many former husbands or wives feel like they have been stripped of their input and must live with the decisions the ex-spouse makes, frequently while fighting with one another. Remember that this type of negative interaction can influence children and extended family members -- and can even impact future generations.

  • Finally, remember that after a divorce you are stepping into uncharted territory and living a new life. It is impossible to predict where your new journey will take you, so make the most of the new adventure.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Recognize the toll divorce has on families," Betsy Hart, June 21, 2012

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