How to Deal With Major Life Changes During a Divorce

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted October 24, 2019

Divorcing is a big decision for anyone. No matter how you were living before or the state of your relationship, separating two people who are financially and personally intertwined is a complex process. Many people walk carefully through their divorce, checking with a legal consultant and measuring their actions with every step. You need to separate your finances, work out a fair and flexible custody schedule, and make sure both exes are set up to live productive and separate lives.

Divorce is a lot like going on a road trip. You plan carefully, you use the resources available to make the trip as not-unpleasant as possible, and one major setback can throw off the whole thing. 

Unplanned Life Changes During a Divorce

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During a divorce, you know it’s best to keep all other aspects of your life as stable as possible. But life events often happen without your permission or planning. Couples have to deal with major life changes while in the middle of a divorce all the time, but every journey is different.

You may lose your job or be transferred far away by your employer. Your child may become sick, or they may win a contest that means a state-level finalist competition right in the middle of divorce proceedings. Your teen may decide they want to live with the other parent, your house might experience a major maintenance problem, or your soon-to-be ex might be going through something unexpected and serious.

When this happens, the best thing a separating couple can do is to keep the channels of communication open and begin adapting to the situation with help from Chicago divorce mediators

Take a Breath and Consider Your Options

The first step is to take a breath. Chances are that this life event is not as catastrophic as it may feel at first. Take some time at the end of your day to think about what has just happened. Consider the realistic impact on your life, your ex, your kids, your finances, and your divorce proceedings. Consider all the possible outcomes and different ways you could handle the situation based on your various goals.

Write down how you could minimize the impact on your finances, on your schedule, or on the life of your kids.

Consult With Your Mediator and/or Lawyer

How you are handling your divorce already will determine what will change based on this unexpected event. However, you don’t necessarily have to experience a setback with proper and informed planning. This is why it’s best to run the entire issue by the Chicago divorce mediators you are working with. Talking it out can give you the answers you need before making any rash decisions.

If you are working with a Chicago divorce mediator, sit down with them and your spouse to explain the major change in your life. A mediator is there to solve divorce problems and help both parties reach the best possible result. They can help you work through the changes and adapt your divorce plan based on your new set of needs and circumstances. A mediator can also help you smooth things over with your ex, if you’re worried this major life change will impact them negatively or cause a negative emotional reaction. A mediator will help both of you get through this change and still achieve your best divorce possible.

Alternatively, consult with your divorce attorney about how the change will impact your divorce and the options you have. It may still be a good idea to sit down with a Chicago divorce mediator and your spouse to work out the best way to smooth over the transition from one set of divorce expectations and plans to adapt to the new situation.

Build a New Budget and Schedule

The next step is to adapt your budget and your divorce schedule. Whether this life change has eaten some of your savings or provided you with an opportunity to make more money, you will need to readjust your spending plans and analyze your budget based on how your life or circumstances may be changing. Since the divorce isn’t final, it’s also possible that this life change will impact your spouse financially, and your final financial divorce terms, as well.

Then consider your schedule. You may need to put off your final divorce date, or rework the days that are available to work on your divorce. If this life change will take you out of the same city with your ex, you may need to put some serious work into scheduling time to complete your divorce and the way you’ll achieve that. With modern technology, it is possible to hold Chicago divorce mediation and negotiation sessions remotely with video chat and to trade documents digitally for review. It is possible to complete your divorce successfully no matter how drastically your schedule may change.

Talk it Over With Your Kids

Major life changes are something you should always talk over with your children. Even very young kids are perceptive and will notice that things are changing. Sit down with your children and explain what’s going on in terms they’ll understand. Let your kids ask questions and answer as honestly as you can. 

It’s okay to say that you don’t have all the answers or aren’t done changing your plans. In fact, older kids may have some very useful insights about how your lives might change for the better in response to whatever this major life event might be. Children are often better at seeing the bright side of circumstances than their parents.

Your kids may ask about how this change will impact your ex as well. Remember to keep your answers as calm and kind as possible, giving your kids your perspective an some things to think about before they talk to your ex about the same situation. The most important thing is to make sure your kids understand what is going on and that they are still safe, secure, and loved no matter what else changes.

Adapt Your Divorce Plans with a Positive Attitude

Whether this major change was good or bad, it’s easy for spouses in the middle of a divorce to react badly. You may find yourself focusing on all the negative possibilities, or how much extra work this life change adds to your plate. But the best way to succeed is to maintain a positive attitude and forward momentum.

Instead of thinking about how tough or unexpected the situation is, get motivated to tackle the challenges ahead. If you need to reschedule your divorce meetings or push the end-date, that’s okay. The best way to do things right is to just do it. Think carefully about your decisions to make the best choices and changes for this new future, and try to consider what you can do to make this change easier for your ex.

Contact a Divorce Mediator in Chicago Today

Chicago divorce mediation is your best tool when it comes to adapting to life changes in the middle of your divorce proceedings. A mediator can help you work with your ex to find the best solutions and build the best possible future even when circumstances change. Contact Split Simple today for help reaching an uncontested divorce in Chicago

Split Simple

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180 North Stetson Avenue #3500

Chicago, IL 60601