Divorce is typically one of the most difficult experiences of your life, even if you know you are in a marriage that needs to end. Some people go into the divorce process expecting relief and freedom once everything is finalized, but the reality is that many divorcing spouses will be a part of one another’s lives long after the ink has dried on the divorce decree. This is especially true for divorcing parents, who will need to continue interacting until their children are legally adults. However, the same can also hold true in other divorce cases that do not involve children.
If you are preparing for divorce in Wichita, KS, it is essential to understand what the process entails and what sort of relationship you can expect after you obtain your divorce decree. While this may be difficult for some to accept, there is a good chance you will need to stay connected with your ex on some level following your divorce. The following tips can help you keep things civil and reduce the chance of emotional flareups in the future.
Check Your Personal Grudges
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is separating one’s personal issues from the practical concerns of the divorce process. If your spouse was unfaithful and inflicted severe emotional distress on you, it can be tempting to push for a trial instead of mediation to exact a measure of revenge. However, a lengthy trial can be stressful for both of you, and you could end up paying for this decision just as much as they do.
Following your divorce, try to keep in mind that your marriage is legally over. Therefore, whatever personal issues remain between you and your ex no longer carry the same weight they may have in the past. Still, letting go of these issues can be very difficult, and everyone deserves some type of closure. Forcing the issue or holding on to grudges will only hurt you in the long run.
Consider Counseling or Therapy
A divorce can exact a severe emotional toll on anyone. It is not uncommon to feel a mix of relief and fear for the future following your divorce, even if your marriage was destructive. Counseling can provide clarity, reassurance, and support during a challenging time, making it easier for you to manage future interactions with your ex. Once your divorce is final, taking steps toward self-improvement and healing are some of the best things anyone can do to start mending the wounds sustained before and during divorce.
Maintain Positive and Constructive Communications
If you and your ex have children together, it is essentially guaranteed that the two of you will need to maintain lines of communication for the foreseeable future. This is where most post-divorce tension arises in most cases. The best way to approach these interactions is by separating your personal feelings about your ex from your parental responsibilities.
When you and your coparent communicate, it is always in your best interests to be concise, positive, and clear. Try to avoid last-minute plan changes and coordinate custody exchanges in advance. When unexpected things occur that derail your plans, be honest about your situation and try to seek the middle ground to accommodate the other parent’s needs as well as your own.
Keep Your Children Out of Personal Issues Between You and Your Ex
One of the biggest mistakes any divorced parent can make is trying to sway their child’s view of their other parent. Whether with age, maturity, or over the course of your child’s own observations regarding your relationship, they will eventually sort the truth out for themselves. If your child discovers that you were telling them half-truths or simply badmouthing their other parent out of spite, the resulting feelings of betrayal can irreparably harm your relationship.
Before, during, and after divorce, make it clear to your children that whatever issues exist between you and their other parent are only between the two of you and that your responsibilities as parents have not changed. Even more importantly, reassure your child that you and your former spouse will continue to love and care for them always. Divorce is incredibly hard on children, so parents must try and stay constructive and supportive in every way they can.
Consult Your Attorney for Post-Judgment Motion Options
It is a good idea to maintain a connection with your Wichita, KS divorce lawyer after obtaining your divorce decree because you may need to rely on them again in the near future. Obtaining your divorce decree can be a milestone event in your life, but do not assume that your divorce case is entirely over. Family law is unique in that the family court system allows you to revisit a family law order in the future under certain conditions. Unlike a complex appeals process, the modification process for a divorce order is much more streamlined and straightforward.
You may need to file a post-judgment motion if your income changes, if you suffer a medical emergency that influences your ability to care for your children, or if anything else occurs that materially affects the elements of your divorce order. You and your attorney will draft a post-judgment motion for the change you seek and submit it to the court, and the court then sets a hearing date. The post-judgment motion process can allow you to alter your child support, child custody, or alimony terms in light of recent changes, so be prepared to explore this process with your attorney should the need arise.
Strive for Emotional Balance
One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a positive relationship with your ex after divorce is balancing your emotions with your practical concerns. Even if your ex is unreasonable and presents difficulties at every opportunity, meeting them at this level will only hurt you in the long run. If you can maintain a positive and constructive outlook in your future interactions with your ex, they may eventually realize that their tactics are self-destructive. Managing your new life while carrying the stress of divorce can be difficult, but if you can maintain emotional balance and clarity, your situation can improve.