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Making the decision to file for divorce is incredibly difficult, and for many people it can evoke feelings of severe stress and worry about what the future holds. For parents in particular, the breakdown of a marriage is likely to cause concern over the welfare of the children who will be affected.

These feelings of anxiety can be so severe that many parents put off filing for divorce from their partner, which may actually cause more problems than it resolves. Furthermore, a lack of knowledge on divorce proceedings may deter couples who have ended their relationship.

However, while seeking a divorce is extremely difficult - and should not be entered into lightly - there are steps that individuals can take to make the process as stress and hassle-free as possible. These have been outlined below.

What’s the problem?

Divorce can cause a number of emotional problems for those involved, such as stress, depression and anxiety - the latter of which may display itself in the form of panic attacks. Unsurprisingly, this worry can affect a person’s sleeping patterns, which can make things get worse by causing tiredness, exhaustion and difficulty concentrating.

With so much to consider during a divorce, particularly where children are involved, it is not surprising that many people begin to suffer emotionally as a consequence. However, there are a number of ways in which those going through a divorce can make it as stress-free as possible.

  1. Manage your emotions

It is incredibly common for individuals going through a divorce to feel various emotions, from fear to resentment and guilt to grief. Being aware that this is completely normal should help you stay calm at this confusing time. In the early stages, you will likely need as much support as possible from friends and family, but it is also important to give yourself enough time to process what has happened.

2. Accept help from friends and family

At this difficult time, you should make an effort to identify who is part of your support network. Take steps to consider the people who are already there for you, but also remember that some relationships may prove challenging as a result of your situation. There may be some people who you find it difficult to socialise with due to your feelings, while others may take this opportunity to tell you they sensed an issue with your relationship a long time before.

3. Deal with practical matters

It is essential to think about your financial and practical resources following a divorce. Your household income will undoubtedly change, and whether you are staying in your family home or moving out, having a plan in place is important. You may want to consider releasing some of the equity in your house, or how to bring in some additional income.

If you have children, you will need to make arrangements with your partner regarding their support and care. This could include the receiving of child support payments, which may be difficult to negotiate but necessary for the wellbeing of your children.

4. Minimise stress for your children

Your break-up may have been particularly nasty; for example, you or your partner may have been unfaithful. However, whenever children are involved, it is essential that you ensure they remain the top priority despite any bad feelings you feel towards your partner. Divorce can have a significant impact on children, and it is your responsibility as a parent to make this as easy as possible for them.

Be sure to invite your child to discuss their feelings, informing them that bottling up their emotions is not the solution. It is also important, no matter the circumstances behind your split, that you remain civil around your partner whenever the children are present.

5. Communicate with your ex

This area in particular can cause a significant amount of stress. However, if you have children, it is absolutely essential that you learn to communicate effectively with your ex. This means trying not to get angry and having the ability to manage your emotions. Be sure to enter into any communication with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and be careful not to let your own feelings cloud the outcome of these discussions.

Be prepared to enter into mediation and, although this may be difficult, try to make sure your feelings toward your ex do not impact the outcome, particularly if there are children involved who need to maintain a relationship with both parents.

6. Set goals for the future

It can be very easy to let the stress of divorce proceedings make you feel bogged down in your emotions, but looking to the future is an effective way to help yourself overcome the worry and concern at this time. While it is important to take each day as it comes, make plans for your future (involving your children) in order to bring some positivity at a dark time.