Don’t let emotions get the best of you in divorce

Focusing on the long-term can help you get a better outcome

During a divorce, emotions run high. Many people find it difficult to put their feelings aside, especially when they’ve been taken by surprise or when their spouse has lied, cheated or otherwise violated their trust.

It is natural and healthy to get emotional when your marriage is breaking up. But it doesn’t do your divorce case any favors. You’ll be far more likely to get a good outcome if you can think logically and rationally and focus on what is best for the long term.

Focus on your priorities

Nobody gets everything in a divorce. Texas is a community property state, which means that both spouses have ownership over most assets and income acquired during the marriage. While marital property isn’t necessarily divided 50-50, the goal is to reach an outcome that is fair and reasonable given the unique circumstances of the marriage.

Your property division case will be more productive if you can focus on your priorities. Make a list of things you really want to keep, and a list of things you’re willing to give up. You’re far more likely to get what you want if you’re also willing to let your ex have some of the things he or she would like.

Put the children first

No parent wants to give up time with their child. But, absent serious problems like abuse or addiction, it is best for children to continue to have relationships with both parents after divorce.

It is counter-productive to think of child custody cases in terms of “winning” or “losing.” Everyone wins when a child’s best interests are protected. Try to avoid falling into the trap of unwittingly punishing your child because you are upset at your ex. In the long run, children do a lot better when their parental relationships are healthy, loving and supportive – especially during and after a divorce.

Watch what you say

It is important to let your feelings out. But, it’s even more important to be careful where you do it. Anything you say online – for example, on Facebook or in an email – could be admitted as evidence in your divorce case. Similarly, talking badly about your ex in front of your children could be used against you in a child custody proceeding.

It’s ok to vent to your friends, and divorce is definitely a good time to seek out the guidance of a therapist or counselor to help you process your emotions. But do be careful about what you say in public, in court and online. If you have questions about this, your lawyer can help you understand the safest ways to proceed.