Although divorce is hardest on the two parties going through it, a divorce can be hard for everyone involved, including your family members Your family likely does not know and understand the details of your spousal relationship, so it can be difficult for them to wrap their head around the reason or concept of the divorce.
When you decide to divorce, you likely have a lot on your plate already. So, here are three things to consider when it comes to managing your family during the divorce process.
1. Take their advice lightly
Unless you have a relative who has gone through a divorce in North Carolina before, the details of the proceedings are likely foreign to your family. They may have heard stories or read some articles themselves, and even though they may only be trying to help you, you cannot rely on their information.
Regardless of whether you and your spouse face an amicable divorce or not, you should only listen to the advice you receive from an experienced divorce attorney or another certified professional.
2. Set your boundaries carefully
It can be difficult to set boundaries at any age with our loved ones, but it is critical during a divorce. You should limit your family’s involvement and set realistic boundaries based on your comfort level. For example:
- Kindly, but firmly, remind them you will not discuss issues regarding your divorce with them;
- Explicitly tell them how they can support you when things feel challenging, but continue to maintain your privacy and avoid discussing specific details; and
- Communicate with them about how to speak about your ex, particularly around your children.
This last point is especially critical. Even if you and your spouse agree to end your marriage, families often tend to take sides in the divorce. Make it clear to your family how to approach this situation around you and your children.
3. Reassure them about the future
Often, your family needs as much reassurance as you do that everything will be alright. Events in your life can cause stress for your family as well. And, like you, they might not know what to expect.
For example, one of your parents’ biggest worries might be when they can see their grandchildren if you are setting up a child custody arrangement and dividing parenting time. Remind them – and your children – that they will not lose contact and you will remain a family.
Taking these steps can help to reduce your stress, as well as that of your family, as you move forward.