Separation and Divorce Adjustment

by Dr. Judith Mazza

Contemplating a separation or dealing with divorce are among the most stressful events that a person can experience. Your emotions can change from one extreme to another. Sometimes you feel that things are moving too quickly and other times you may feel that there is no resolution in sight. Since decisions made during this time can have long term consequences, seeking professional consultation from a psychologist has many benefits. Separation and divorce affects everyone in the family from children to extended family members. A trained professional, expert in these matters, can bring comfort and clarity to what may be a confusing and sometimes frightening experience.

The issues that should be considered during this time are quite varied and depend on your situation. However, you should ask yourself these questions prior to separating:
  • Have I sought counseling to be sure that I am making the best decision?
  • What should I do about child custody and visitation issues?
  • Is there anything I can do at this point in time to reduce conflict?
  • What can I do to minimize stress and adversarial proceedings without sacrificing my future welfare?
  • Do I feel safe?
  • Am I moving to a place where my children will be comfortable, safe, and well supervised, even if the arrangement is temporary?
  • Is there anything else I should do to stabilize my finances?
  • Should I contact an attorney?
Additional issues that should be considered during and after a separation or divorce include:
  • What type of post-separation relationship would I like to have with my former spouse or partner?
  • What roles am I giving up and what new roles am I expected to assume?
  • Have my former spouse or partner and I been clear with each other regarding our post-separation expectations?
  • How are the children adjusting?
  • What else can I do to reduce tension and conflict in the situation?
  • Where do I fit in as a newly single person?
  • When should I consider beginning a new relationship?
  • How can I safely do this? Am I on the rebound?
Adjusting to being newly single can take a long time. Establishing dating relationships while there are children living under-roof is a delicate matter that takes careful planning. Consulting with a trained psychologist can make this transition an easier one for everyone.

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