Blog: 7 things to keep in mind once you start your divorce?


We only have to open magazines and newspapers, and we know that divorce is a very real “norm” of modern life.


The fact remains that it is two people, who once were in love and maybe one still is, and that bond is now broken. More than likely, a family was born and there are many memories – both sad and beautiful. Unfortunately, most of the hurt and sadness will be fought on the battlefield of finance.


When we start a divorce, our security is ripped from underneath us.


Both financial and family, which will include our home. And no matter how many fights we fight out there in the big wide world, all that really counts at the end of the day is our home and family – and our finances provide for both. Now, what is most important in our lives as humans, will be falling into this black hole where we are scared, angry, heartbroken, and we can see no way out.


We enter a state of “fight or flight”. As we cannot do flight, we stand up and we fight. And oh boy, do we fight. Your body does not get rest, because we are constantly aware that our survival is on the line. Apart from the family and home, our ego was hurt, and we want revenge. We want to hurt back as much as we were hurt.


Let me please implore with you – do not go out for revenge.


It is the most energy wasted act you will carry out your whole life. You give your every thought, all your energy, to the person you hate the most at this very moment. Why would you want to give them so much time and energy? Why give them power over you? Rather, use that time and energy wisely, and focus on yourself and your path. Imagine how much further you can get, if you keep your energy to yourself. If you struggle, there are many places to find help, but please, do not start with revenge. (You are welcome to follow the link at the top of the page.)


I would assume that by now you have taken a breather and stepped back to re-access the matter and you are very sure that this is what you want. But know, just because you do not want the divorce, does not mean that the other person must comply and stay in the marriage. You cannot keep someone captive in a marriage, only because you are not ready to divorce. What I am saying here, is be ready for what is coming, it is not always a nice process.


Now that the shock has settle a little and the process is going to start, what do you do?


1. Children and co-parenting. If there are children, remember that you will have to find a way with your ex-partner on how to proceed as single parents. DO NOT USE your children against each other – it is not fair on the children, and outright cruel. Rules that existed in the family home, should, as far as possible, continue in both parent’s homes now. This will provide your children with security and normality. They are going to deal with enough as it is, why make it difficult? Do not bad mouth the other parent. Yes, we are human. Yes, it does slip out sometimes. But, it should not be your normal/standard way of communicating now. Do not use the children to send messages to each other. If you have something to say, deal direct with the other parent. If you cannot speak face to face, then text or mail. But do not use your children in your fight. You are still parents, you are only living in two different homes now. Be a united front as parents - children are clever, they will play you.

2. Interview a lawyer. You do not have to accept the first lawyer you find. And referrals from friends, does not always mean they are right for you. Some people like to go in for the kill, some like to do it slower, calmer. Does not matter how you negotiate this divorce, you have to find a lawyer who will fit with your personality. You are the one who has to put your head on the pillow tonight and sleep – make sure you can do it with a clear conscious. Your lawyer has to be someone you are comfortable to trust, whole heartedly. And believe me, you will have to trust them. Take your time, no one can force you to find one immediately. Remember, if you change lawyers down the line, it will be extra cost, as the lawyer will have to familiarize themselves with all that happened to date. That, is only going to add to an already very expensive process. But, at the same time, if you feel that you made a mistake, make the change

3. Your one and only time. This is the time to settle and do it right. You cannot go back 2 years, 5 years later and say, oops, I made a mistake, I now want it like this. Let you lawyer guide you as to how they think it might work. No guarantee it will work like that, but they have a bit more experience than you in this field. Be clear on what you want. What do they (lawyer) think is fair and possible? Compromise where you might need to, but, stick to your guns on the things that are important to you. Important, being the things that will generate hate and resentment later. Time will heal this wound of a broken marriage, but those other things that will have a huge impact on your life from here on, those things, make sure you speak up. Make sure the wording in your agreement is right – you cannot go and amend it later. Negotiate and fight now, get it over and done.

4. Do it quick, but not hastily. Move as fast as you can with the process. For some couples, they negotiate and settle within 3 months. For other, it can take years. There is no reason to drag an already unpleasant event out. The trick is, to move at a rate where you are comfortable. Where you feel you have control. Remember, some lawyers are only seeing money. Do not step into that trap if you can settle it painlessly. Unfortunately, some spouses do not let go easily and you might have a long, drawn-out process on your hands. Well, then it is how it is. Keep control over the purse strings however, you can waste a lot of money on legal costs while you wait.

5. Do not live in hate. I know you want to take a hammer and hit the whole Earth to pieces. You want to destroy and cry and scream. I know. When you really feel you need to vent, do it. You are however not allowed to live there. It will destroy you. It will take over your whole life and make you and everyone around you negative. You will find that everything and everyone works against you – but that will be because of your attitude. Remember the other people around you, they did nothing to deserve your lashings. And they really do not want to be in the space of someone who is negative 24/7. Yes, you have reason to be angry. No, you do not have to destroy yourself in the process.

6. Heal Yourself. Personally, I do not think any person can walk away from a divorce without some form of healing that needs to happen. The whole process, and the actual divorce, will create new Negative and Limiting Beliefs in you that will influence the rest of your life. Apart from that, we often have hurts that stem from before the divorce, that suddenly raise their heads and we do not always like to face them. As sad and frightening, as this time might seem, it is a good time to give yourself a great big hug, love yourself and start healing. You have an opportunity now, not to repeat the same path.

7. Have fun. Never forget your sense of humour. Never forget how beautiful this world really is. Never forget all that you have in your life to be grateful for. It might take hard work now to be happy and to have fun. But do yourself a favour and work at it. Plan a morning out over the weekend – so what if the dishes stand over for a little later. So what if you eat sandwiches tonight? Plan something fun. Find your inner child and that time when you were happy for no reason, but the fact that you are alive. You will be amazed at how quickly it becomes part of your life.


This is going to be one of the hardest times of your life. You have the option right now – learn the lesson or come back for it later again, and again.


There is an amazing, beautiful life after divorce. The decision lies with you.


Sue Leppan

Transformation Life Coach

NLP Practitioner

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SueLeppanLifeCoach/

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E-mail: hello@sueleppan.co.za     Tel: +27 83 305 0330