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Facing a Divorce? Build Personal Resilience in the Process

— February 28, 2024

Recognize your gain in resilience formed during those difficult moments, not because you sought it, but because circumstances took you to it.

If you are considering or just starting the divorce process, you probably already know that divorce is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Divorce is technically the process of dividing. It is a division of the care of children and your joint wealth. It is a division of your liabilities. It is also a division of the unseen, such as your shared trust and faith in one another. In reality, it’s not simple. Divorce is the long-haul, tearing-apart effort of removing a broken relationship from your life, along with everything that trails behind it. How can you not only recover from divorce, but build resilience as a result?  

Resilience – The Hidden Outcome of Divorce

To answer this question, consider the following: An often-unknown outcome of divorce was recently referenced in Medical News Today1. Study researchers found that, despite the stress of divorce, the most common outcome of divorce was, surprisingly, resilience. Being resilient means you’re steady in stressful situations and you’re stable in changing conditions. Being resilient also indicates you’ve learned, you’ve grown and you’re prepared for what is ahead. While considering the following, focus on the resilience to be formed in the process. 

Retain the Legal Services of an Experienced Family Lawyer

When considering a divorce or while in the process, the first action you’ll want to take is to obtain the legal services of an experienced family lawyer in Camp Hill who will represent your primary issues and attend to your concerns with compassion. While several lawyers may be available to take your divorce case, a regional family lawyer will best be able to fully assist in your divorce. Your priority is the well-being of your children, so you’ll want to look for someone who will listen and advocate accordingly. Choose a family lawyer who is sympathetic to your particular issues and is willing to work toward a satisfying conclusion on your behalf. 

Determine a Custody Schedule 

The second action you’ll want to take is to assist your family attorney in determining a custody schedule that conforms to your parental needs. You will need to develop resilience in this action because it is often a subject of disagreement between spouses. This action can be settled by your attorney during separation and before your final divorce decree. Your child custody schedule serves dual purposes. First, a custody agreement will establish a “new normal” for your child or children by removing some of the unknowns that divorce brings. Children need a consistent, regular schedule; one that can be followed by all family members. This will help them become acclimated to the major changes in their lives. In addition, the custody agreement will define future conversations regarding child support and will outline the financial obligations to be paid by one or both parents. Your divorce lawyer can negotiate the custody schedule as soon as possible for these reasons. 

Communicate Regarding Alimony 

Alimony is a sensitive subject during a divorce and is often the most difficult aspect of the process for both parties. In fact, communication between divorcing parties can come to a halt entirely over the subject. Former partners often no longer consider the needs of each other because they must allocate their resources toward caring for themselves. The divorce creates a drain on what used to be a combined income, leaving the individuals in a reduced financial position. 

Alimony, if required, may be paid to either spouse, depending on the income and assets each holds, either separately or together. While in past years, women most often received alimony because they did not work outside the home, the recent trend has been to consider the length of the marriage and the consensus that both parties can workbefore a determination regarding alimony is made. Your divorce lawyer will be instrumental in guiding you to the best resolution in your settlement. 

Arrange Child Custody Payments

Another point of potential disagreement is that of monthly child custody payments. Although many states, including Pennsylvania, have set rates for custody payments, the payments are based on the amount of time the child or children spend with each parent. If the first action of your divorce lawyer was to set up the custody schedule, the custody payment conversation may be a foregone conclusion with both spouses.

Half of U.S. Parents Believe Social Media is Harming Their Children
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Custody payments, in addition to alimony, may be a heavy financial burden, so a parent will sometimes try to arrange a custody agreement that favors them financially. For example, one parent may request a 70/30 or 60/40 custody agreement because there may be a financial advantage in that split. Income levels and other definers will be calculated by your divorce lawyer to create the final amount to be paid each month per the law. This negotiation, much like other financially-driven decisions, requires increased personal resilience during a divorce. 

Divide Marital Property

At this point in the divorce, the primary issues of your divorce have been settled, or are at least under review and on the pathway to resolution. These include a child custody schedule, alimony payments, and child custody payments. One of the remaining issues includes separating marital property, which can quickly devolve into an emotionally difficult process. What was once considered a purchase by both can easily be assumed by one party to be a personal acquisition. 

Marital property can become especially subjective when calculating the costs and current values of property items. Your divorce lawyer will ask you to complete a list of property values and whether each item is owned separately or jointly. Within the negotiations between lawyers, some of the blurred lines of ownership will be cleared during the natural give and take that must follow. Resilience is often built through emotional adversity during this specific part of the process.

How can you not only recover from divorce, but build resilience as a result?  

Consider this question again. When your divorce is finalized and you take a moment to look back at the process, reconsider the areas that created the most hardship for you. Recognize your gain in resilience formed during those difficult moments, not because you sought it, but because circumstances took you to it. These are the life occasions that stretch and reinforce personal resilience and it is a strength you’ve gained as a result of successfully navigating and completing your divorce. Congratulations!



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