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Don't let divorce overwhelm you

A divorce can be a time of great emotional stress for people. It's essential not to let it get the best of you. While it may seem like it's never going to end, it will. In the meantime, you need to maintain your sanity.

This is particularly crucial if you have children. If they see mom or dad upset, they're likely to be upset and afraid. Even if you think you're hiding your feelings from them, kids often see and hear far more than we realize.

Whether you have children or not, you need to take care of yourself. If you fall apart physically and emotionally, you're no good to anyone else. Don't hesitate to get whatever support you need to maintain your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Getting out and socializing is essential. This doesn't mean just meeting someone for coffee and discussing your divorce. Make time to be with people with whom you can just enjoy a movie or bike ride. A change of scenery can be very healthy when you're feeling overwhelmed.

The same goes for your kids. Start building your new family dynamic with them. Get out and do something fun together. If they see that it's okay to still have fun, they'll relax. Even a trip to the park together can do everyone good.

Plan for the future. Looking ahead to life after divorce will help you move through it. Whether it's redecorating the house or planning a family vacation, it will take your mind off of the unpleasantness of the present and focus it on the future.

Don't sweat the small stuff. No matter how antagonistic your relationship with your estranged spouse has become, everything doesn't have to be a battle. Focus on the things you really need and want and let the others go. Many people end up fighting over items neither one of them actually cares about just because they don't want the other person to "win." The less of that you do, the sooner this will be over.

If you need help or resources in your area, chances are that your North Dakota family law attorney will be able to provide some references. He or she has likely been through this with a lot of other people and can be a source of valuable information on more things than just legal strategies.

Source: The Huffington Post, Tips to Keeping Your Sanity in the Divorce Process," June 24, 2014

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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