The prospect of untangling finances in your divorce and losing time with your children is wrenching. Add in uncertainty about your home, your lifestyle, and your social circle, and you may feel completely destabilized. You know your emotions are off-kilter if you experience any of the following:
– You can’t sleep,
– You can’t eat,
– You can’t concentrate on anything other than your divorce,
– You cry excessively,
– You’re consumed with guilt over the effect on your children, or
– You dream of exacting revenge on your soon-to-be ex.
Being in a state of turmoil when contemplating or deciding on getting divorced is common, and frankly, understandable. At the same time, when you go to your initial meeting with your divorce attorney, you will need to ask and answer questions about your finances, strategies, possible outcomes, and what you must do to protect yourself and your children. Beginning the legal process of divorce in as calm a state of mind as possible is important. How do you get there? Here are three ways to emotionally prepare for your initial divorce consultation.
Be prepared to gather information. Remember: you are going to a divorce consultation, not a therapy session! If you show up at the consultation with in an overly emotional state, you may be unable to think straight and could forget everything you learned in the consultation, as well as all the questions you meant to ask. So plan to arrive at your attorney’s office with a notepad and a clear head. Once you leave, then you can high tail it to your divorce therapist and fall apart.
Stay in the present. When people feel bad, they want to escape the present. But pain doesn’t actually come from being in the present. It comes from regretting the past or worrying about the future. If your mind is focused anywhere but in the here and now during your divorce consultation, you will not be able to listen or make rational decisions that lead to a better tomorrow. For one hour, check your worries at the door, take notes, and breathe.
Practice self-care. Insomnia and the “divorce diet” (not eating) are two good ways to fast-track yourself into clinical depression and anxiety, which will then impair your ability to make good decisions. Even if you have to visit a psychiatrist and take medication to regulate your mood and sleep, it’s worth it for a short time (see other ways to reduce the stay calm during divorce). So before you go to your initial divorce consultation, make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise. You want to arrive in your attorney’s office in a composed state, ready to gather information so you can formulate a plan on how to proceed with your divorce.
Going through a divorce, with all the emotional turmoil it creates, is the worst possible time to have to make life-altering decisions. But you can take steps to manage your emotions so you don’t make choices you’ll regret long after your divorce is over.
In the beginning stages of divorce? Just thinking about the process? Our attorneys are here to be your legal guide and advocate. Please contact us to schedule your initial attorney consultation.