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Tackling Stress in Divorce.

How do you tackle stress in divorce?  Tonight's post, written by Marietta Divorce Attorney, Jeannine Lowery, offers a few pointers:

Divorce is stressful. Let's set some ground rules.

There's no doubt that divorce is a stressful life event. In fact, divorce ranks second on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, with death of a spouse as the only life event more stressful than divorce.

If you're going through a divorce, you're not alone.Every year there's approximately 876,000 divorces in the United States (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm). If you find yourself served with divorce papers, don't panic. There are many resources available to help reduce the stress from this life changing event and help you navigate the process effectively. Here are just a few "ground rules" to get you started:

1) Hire a lawyer, and please, don't sign anything without having a lawyer review it.

Sounds simple doesn't it. But when your emotions are raging, sometimes simple is a good place to start. Some people coming to The Manely Firm, P.C.  have already signed away valuable rights and assets.  What sounded good today, you will kick yourself for tomorrow.

If your spouse invites you to their lawyers office to sign a settlement agreement - it's time to get your own attorney. Your spouse's attorney is just that, your spouse's attorney. That means they will protect your spouse's interest, which is often at least somewhat adverse to your interests.

If you sign an agreement, you can bound by that agreement regardless of whether you knew your rights or understood what you signed. So before you sign on the line, hire an attorney to review any proposed agreement. Spending a bit of money on the front end will be way cheaper than hiring a lawyer to try to get you out of a signed settlement agreement.

2) Sanitize your social media, and keep it that way until your divorce is final.

Let's face it, we live in a digital world and everywhere, on every platform, people are talking. Also, during divorce emotions run high, and venting feels natural, even cathartic. However, words can hurt, and I don't just mean your spouse. These days lawyers are chomping at the bit to get opposing spouses' Facebooks posts, tweets, blog posts, pinterest posts and let's not not even get into online dating accounts. All of these sites store your information,  Histories are readily available for creative use during litigation.

It's obvious to see how starting an online dating profile or changing your relationship status to "complicated" or "separated" might be used against you. But don't forget it's not just adulterous behavior the other side is looking for. Keep these sites clean and free from inappropriate comments about who you may be spending your time with, and how you're spending your time and money. To put a new spin on an old saying, "If you wouldn't want your mom to read it don't post it."

3) Try your best not to worry; it's not an effective use of time.

"Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you moving but doesn't get you anywhere." - Anonymous. Again, divorce is a stressful life event, but that doesn't mean you have spend all your time worrying. The single most important thing you can do is hire a lawyer you can trust. Your lawyer will be your legal guide through the divorce, and will help ease your worries by navigating your case to completion. Rather than spending time worrying, ask your attorney to give you a list of things you can do to help your attorney do their job. From gathering your financial documents to creating a timeline of important events, there are lots of productive things you can do to keep from worrying.

It also might be a good time to build or improve your emotional support system. Besides family, there are many resources available for emotional support when dealing with a divorce. Exercise, reading calming literature, spending time in quiet meditation, therapy, divorce support groups or attending a retreat can help make the stress of divorce more manageable.

Yeah, divorce is stressful.  But with the right legal team and the right approach, you can sail through those waters and navigate your path to a happier, far less stressful uture.

Jeannine Lowery

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