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Steven E. Sufrin, Attorney at Law
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5 Ways to Cope With Divorce

Divorce is a major life stressor. Unfortunately, 40 to 50 percent of married couples may experience it personally in their lifetime. From emotional trauma to financial stress and legal battles, divorce brings a heavy array of life changes and difficulties. Although we deal solely with the legal aspects of divorce, we've noticed during our decades of experience that taking care of yourself in every aspect can influence how things can go for you legally during a divorce. That's why we'd like to share a few tips on coping with the stress of divorce:

1. Get a therapist.

Many people in the United States go to therapy. Couples may even have gone to marriage counseling in order to work out their conflicts. Getting back in a therapist's office may not sound like the most pleasing idea, but seeing a counselor now that you've entered this major life transition will help in the long run. Divorce brings major change and stress, and therapy may help you successfully cope with and move into this new phase of your life.

2. Find a physical outlet for stress release.

The aftereffects of divorce may lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as you mourn the loss of your former life and time with your spouse. Finding a way to physically relieve your stress can be a great way to let go. Depression and stress can also lead to weight gain and numerous health challenges, so staying active can boost your mood, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

3. Take your time when dating again.

This tip is especially important, as you want to make sure you're not masking your feelings. They can be particularly confusing during this time. It's important to make sure that you're dating for the right reasons and not just jumping back into the familiar feeling of being with someone. Take this time to discover what aspects didn't work with your ex so you can find someone who is right for you. Also, since it takes two to tango, this can be an important time to understand for yourself what responsibility you may have had in the divorce. This can help you not make the same mistakes with someone new.

4. Make space for friends and yourself.

It's important at this time in your life to see friends, as divorce can be isolating, and you'll need a support network more than ever. You may unfortunately experience a loss in some friendships that you had before you were divorced, as some of your friends may have been friends with your ex as well, causing strange social situations. Finding friends who you know you can confide in is a great way to help alleviate the stress of divorce and build lasting friendships with the right people moving forward. Making space for yourself alone can also give you the chance to heal and discover what makes you you when you're single again. Making room for rediscovering your favorite activities can help you create a productive life for the future.

5. Set boundaries.

Setting boundaries between you and your ex is vital. Divorce is the time where legal ramifications decided upon during the divorce proceedings come into play, such as visitation rights. It's important to set boundaries to ensure your peace for yourself and civility with your ex. This can include how much contact the two of you have, your personal comforts and feelings, and more. Be aware of personal physical, emotional and mental boundaries and remember to respect the boundaries of your ex. If legal protections are necessary in order to establish these boundaries, reach out for the help of a lawyer sooner rather than later.

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