With the current divorce rate sitting around 50%, it’s time to accept separations and marriages dissolving as a part of life. First marriages end at a rate of about 41%, with higher-end rates for folks getting hitched for a second, third, or more time. In any case, understanding the repercussions can help everyone relax and avoid the elephant in the room, especially during family gatherings and around the holidays.
Whether it’s you or a loved one going through a divorce, remember that this is a change that affects more than just those bound together through marriage. Help make everyone’s transition easier by using these after divorce tips:
- Talking About It, But Briefly – You don’t want it to be TOO awkward where no one even mentions the divorce. Sometimes the smoke just needs to clear. Whether it’s you or another family member, don’t be afraid to mention it in an off-hand way. “One less plate this year,” or something as nonchalant. This will avoid putting the focus on the change, but keep it from becoming taboo, either.
- Don’t Take Family Divorce Personally – Whether you did or didn’t like the person who’s been dissolved from the family, it wasn’t a decision that took you into consideration. (With the exception being kids whose parents are divorcing.) Divorce is a no-fault situation for family members. Remember that even happy parties have to get used to a new lifestyle, and your input simply doesn’t matter.
- Be Supportive of a Family Member’s Divorce – Change in any avenue is difficult. Offer your words and gestures of support to family members going through a marital change. Encourage them, offer to help move, clean, mow their yard, or whatever other tasks that might be overwhelming in their time of adjustment. This is also a great way to shift the conversation. If someone brings up the divorce you can simply pipe in with, “Oh yeah, I’m coming to help paint next week, right?”
- Grow Up and Focus on the Positive – People change. Lifestyles adjust. And adults make adult decisions, even when they are hard. Don’t focus on the petty, but look toward the good and how divorce, even if it seems like a bad situation, can help bring out some good. Remind family members of the positives in their life, especially when dinner conversations become awkward or stalled around the same-old kin-folk drama.
- Discuss the Divorce Legalities … If you Must – If you MUST discuss the divorce in detail, keep it civil. Talk about the legal standings, logistics, or state differences for each party. Again, this can keep the personal conversations hidden underneath the tablecloth and allowing the family to focus on legal matters or any other fact-driven statements. Divorce is a big legal change for all involved, even extended family members. The next time you gather with those closest to you, avoid hot-button issues and instead, focus on what can’t be disputed. Of course, remember to have a good time, but when family inevitably brings up the big “D” word or divorce, steer them to the high road going forward.
Do you have questions about divorce legalities? Get in touch to talk with our highly trained divorce lawyers today.