Keeping focus in divorce


Keeping focus in divorce is a critical element of successfully getting through a very difficult process.  Keeping focus enables you to concentrate your time, energy and budget on achieving the best outcome possible for you and your family.

This article looks at the challenges that can get in the way and five easy steps you can take to help you.

Challenges in divorce

The challenges that you face in divorce will be internal – ones that stir up within yourself – and external – ones that other people or situations present you with.

Internal challenges will include the following

  • Your own process of coming to terms (or grieving) the end of your relationship
  • Coping with change in terms of living arrangements or the way that you must now relate to your ex-partner, children and other friends and family members
  • Managing stress, anger, depression and other emotions and conditions

External challenges include

  • The things people say and do – these are not limited to your ex-partner
  • Dealing with other people’s expectations of what you should and should not be doing
  • The pressure of negotiations, mediation and/or court proceedings
  • Working with lawyers and other professionals
  • Coping with your ex-partner’s delays in complying with requests for information or requests to do something
“Getting bent out of shape”

We asked one of our family law solicitors to explain a favourite saying of his;

“I often use the phrase `Getting bent out of shape’ within my divorce law work. It means allowing situations or other people to distort how we would like to live our lives.

“Think of getting a new car.  You are pleased with it and how it looks.  It is pleasing to the eye and it makes an impression on people.  Now imagine that you allow someone else to dent it or, even worse, you deliberately run it into a lamp-post.  Your new car is now not so attractive or pleasing.

“That is how it is within divorce.

“I’m convinced that most people at the start of divorce proceedings have a very clear idea of how they would like to conduct themselves.  They want to act reasonably, calmly and with honesty and dignity.

“What then happens is that sound intention gets dented and distorted – bent out of shape – because we have come up against one of the challenges listed above.”

“When that happens, the risk is that people start acting differently.  They act in ways that react to the challenge.  They act in ways that they would otherwise not like to.  The result can be increased conflict, increased legal fees and less satisfactory outcomes.”

5 tips for keeping focus in divorce

Keeping focus in divorce means keeping a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve, why those outcomes are important and how you would like to achieve those goals.

The result is that you have a better chance of keeping control of your divorce and your own behaviour.

The following list of 5 ways for keeping focus in divorce is just a starting point.

  1. Get support.  An experienced coach or counsellor can be invaluable in helping you reflect on what is important for you.  They can hold you accountable so that you stay true to what is important to you.  The costs is often much more affordable than you might imagine.  Having this support can often save you costs on legal fees if matters are resolved quicker and with less conflict.

If you have been divorced, what other tips would you add to the list?  How did you find your focus was challenged and how were you able to keep focus or, if you lost it, rediscover it?