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How to Tell People You Are Getting Divorced

 

Your relationship with your spouse is a fairly private affair, but once you get a divorce it sometimes feels like all of your dirty laundry is aired in public. Close friends and family should be supportive and understanding, but what about co-workers? Or your children’s friend’s parents? Or even extended family members? Do you owe them an explanation as to why your spouse is no longer attending parties with you? It can be hard to talk about a divorce, especially when it is still painfully recent. Here are some tips that help you break the news to others while still allowing yourself to have boundaries.

Who Should Speak First?

Do you go to friends and family and tell them first? Do you wait until they approach you to avoid starting an awkward conversation? The truth is, people are going to talk no matter what. You can get ahead of the gossip by telling people how you want the discussion to go. It will help your family and friends if they hear it directly from you first, but you are not obligated to go into details right away. There are multiple ways that you can spread the news that doesn’t require you to speak with people face to face. Sending out a text message might be a little too cold, but an email or a letter will allow you to organize your thoughts without having a barrage of questions thrown at you. It will also give people time to craft their own response that is more thoughtful. When it comes to extended friends, family and acquaintances, it is best to have a pre-thought out response. News travels fast, and people you haven’t talked to in a long time are bound to hear about it even if you didn’t want them to.

If you have an automatic response, it will be easier to avoid unwanted advice or questions if you say something to the effect of “X and I are getting a divorce. I appreciate your concern but this is something that is I need to work through and it is very private so I don’t care to go into any more detail right now.” Most people are very understanding but if someone keeps pressing for details you have a right to let them know that they are being rude.

What You Shouldn’t Do

You will probably experience a lot of pain an emotion leading up to the divorce, so you may want to take that out on your ex-spouse. You will regret dragging people into your divorce if you tell them all the details right away. Posting a message on social media for everyone to see can create unwanted attention that you might not have the emotional ability to handle right now. Bashing your ex-spouse in public will create more problems than solutions and it can be used against you in court. If you feel like you have to talk to someone then a therapist, who provides an unbiased opinion, will be a great option for you and they can help guide you through your grief. People mean well when they give you unsolicited advice and want you to talk to them, but they are not trained professionals that are contractually obligated to secrecy.

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There is no right way to talk about a divorce. Both parties will say and do things that they will regret later on, or tell people secrets that they wished they hadn’t. There is no way that you are going to avoid the rumors, but you can stay on top of them. Telling people exactly what details you deem important enough and ignoring all the gossip that surrounds it will help you navigate your divorce until you get to the other side. The truth is, people will care about your divorce for only a short time and then move on with their own lives. The best thing you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with close friends and family and try and move on as well.

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Divorce After Adoption

For most children, divorce will be a confusing and traumatic time. But if they are adopted, it might make the situation even more difficult.  Children might experience attachment issues, anger issues or even lash out in unpredictable ways. The laws surrounding custody of adoption cases are pretty straightforward but the emotional turmoil that is can cause won’t be.  There are many resources out there that can help you and your family get through this trying time, especially for children.

Custody laws for Adoption

If a child is legally adopted by both parents, then in the court of law, they are treated the same way as a biological parent. Both parents will be eligible to get full or partial custody of the children and they will receive visitation rights. If only one parent is the adoptive parent and the other if the biological parent, then it will be much more difficult for an adoptive parent to get full custody unless they can prove that the children are much better off without the biological parent. The best course of action in a divorce is to always have a lawyer mediate, especially with custody battles because they will be the ones to help you get the most rights to see your children.

How to Help Children

Moving forward,  your main concern should be helping your kids cope. There are many ways that you and your ex-spouse can create a working co-parenting system. If you both have your children wellbeing in mind, then you and your spouse will still create a loving home that your children will still feel loved and welcome.

Always reassure the children that it is not their fault. They might be feeling abandoned, and those feelings might be compounded by the fact that they are adopted. Children are much more perceptive than people realize and so talking bad about ex-spouse can create tension that your children don’t want to be in the middle of. Consider getting professional therapy to help your kids deal with the transition of having divorced parents, and to help them cope with their emotions. Sometimes children who are adopted might feel like their mothers did not “want them” so divorce can make them feel like it is their fault. If you and your ex-spouse diligently work with your children to let them know that they are not to blame, it can help them cope with negative emotions. If they are switching houses back and forth, their everyday routine is thrown into chaos and it will add more stress in their lives. Helping them understand their new routine, and trying to keep as much of their old life in a place as possible will help ground them. Try and create new happy memories with your children to let them know that you can still have a happy home even after divorce.

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Picking Up The Pieces

Going through a divorce is never easy, even if it is needed. After building a life with someone it can be devastating to tear it down and start over. How do you rebuild your life after a divorce? After the dust has settled and the worst of it is over, your life may look completely different than it did before. Here are some tips that will help you through this difficult time, and will help you move forward in a healthy way.

Let Yourself Grieve

A lot of people turn to destructive behaviors to avoid their feelings of sadness, anger, bitterness, and anxiety. Distracting yourself isn’t going to make those feelings go away,  they will linger until they are dealt with. Sometimes you might not feel sad about losing a spouse, but it is still a loss of a dream and a future together. Accepting your negative feelings is the first step to healing so choose activities that channel those feelings into sometime healthy. Don’t be afraid to go to a counselor to talk about them and have someone guide you through your grief. This is an important step that many people skip and those feelings tend to just fester and weigh them down.

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Learn New Hobbies

It might be time to learn to build those model airplanes that you have been wanting to learn. Or try rollerblading again. Maybe reach out to old friends and take a camping trip. Surround yourself with a great support group and do things that you enjoy will help you feel grounded in a time of upheaval. Making too many changes all at once will stress you out, so the more you establish a routine that you are familiar and comfortable with the better you will be able to adjust to your new life. A divorce is heartbreaking, so you should make a conscious effort to do things that you enjoy.

Learning to Love Again

It is not a good idea to rush into a new relationship right after one just ended. You might not be making the best decisions and can be blinded by emotions so instead of looking to start dating again try and give yourself some time. Maybe start slow, like going to group activities with people instead of one on one. You also might be missing your ex-spouse and trying to convince them that you can make it work again, but those might be misplaced feelings of fear of being alone instead of love. Every person’s situation is unique, so it is hard to say when and where they can start dating again.  Use your best judgment and know your emotional state so that you are making the best decisions for yourself when you deiced to enter the dating scene again. It’s best not to feel rushed or scared when starting this new chapter in your life.

Getting a divorce will bring a lot of changes in your life. It might take years before you feel like your life is back under control but that is ok.  A divorce is an intensely personal thing between two people that will cause pain, anger, grief, and bitterness. Learning to cope with those emotions and creating a new life for yourself can mean that a divorce won’t completely ruin your life, instead, it can be a learning experience that may even have some positive outcomes.

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Unexpected Consequences of Divorce

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Divorce is a complicated thing. Each situation is different. Although many people think they know how life will be after they have separated from their spouse, there are often unintended consequences that come after all is said and done. Having a clear picture of what might be waiting for you on the other side can help you have a clear vision of what divorce will mean for you and your family. Here are some common unexpected consequences of divorce.

 

Financial Effects

Divorce is expensive. People usually prepare for the expenses of the legalities that come with the process, but many people don’t anticipate extra costs of living after they’ve separated. Spouses often save money when living together with their children, especially when it is a double income household. Depending on the judge’s orders regarding alimony or child support, finances may be tight for either spouse after the divorce is finalized.

 

Emotional Effects

Many people look forward to freedom when they have separated from their spouse. They imagine entering the “single’s” scene and having a fresh start. However, ending a marriage relationship is always going to be an adjustment. Some people find the adjustment harder than others, and they harbor feelings of loneliness or even regret. Often, divorcees express difficulty seeing their ex find success and happiness during this time of transition.

 

Effects on Children

Learning to communicate with your children can be tough even with the most functional family situation. Throwing a divorce into the mix often makes things even more complex. Many people say that their children still have mixed and complicated feelings after the divorce has been finalized and some children feel the effects years later. It’s important to consider their position in the bigger perspective.

 

Each and every divorce is unique and complicated, regardless of the measures you take. However, having a competent lawyer can take a lot of the stresses off of your plate. The associates here at the Huntsman Firm can help you with all of your Family Law needs and advice. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

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Difference between Divorce, Annulment, and Legal Separation

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Many people get confused about the differences between the legal actions that you can take concerning your marriage relationship.  Although divorce is the most common course to take, it is not the only option, and it may not be the best fit for everyone’s situation. Annulment and legal separation are less common and apply to a more specific set of circumstances.

Divorce

A divorce, in the most simple terms, ends a marriage relationship. In fact, it ends all legal relationships between the spouses, except for those that are specifically outlined by the court. These relationships can include agreements about child custody, alimony, or division of property. There are many reasons to file for a divorce that are recognized by Utah courts, including “irreconcilable differences.”  

Annulment

Getting an annulment is different from a divorce because it doesn’t just end a marriage, it legally says that the marriage never happened. A court only orders an annulment for limited situations. Some examples of situations that qualify for an annulment are if one spouse was already married, one spouse was underage, or the spouses were closely related to each other. Other court recognized reasons include fraud and misrepresentation. Although the annulment means the marriage didn’t exist, there can still be agreements about child custody and property division. These will be ordered by the court.

Legal Separation

In Utah, this is referred to as “Separate Maintenance.” It does not end a marriage, but provides for a situation in which to spouses are living separately for one reason or another. It includes petitioning the court for alimony, child custody, property division, or a similar legal action without filing for a divorce. This type of action is appropriate in circumstances where one spouse has been deserted by the other, is not receiving support from the other or through no fault of his or her own, a spouse is living separately from the other. If the two spouses show reconciliation, the court order ends.

No matter your situation, the Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, is here to help you with all of your family law needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our associates.