Family break-ups, separation and divorce are highly stressful, and people often grieve over the loss of their former relationship and lives. However, the intense early feelings do ease with time, and most separated or divorced couples go on to lead fulfilling and happy lives. Platinum adviser Mat Hale from Rising Tide Financial Services in Melbourne has offered up 6 tips to help you get through this stressful time.
Easing the burden of a divorce
In Australia, approximately 132 couples get divorced every day – and almost half of these couples will have children under the age of 18. Divorce can be hard on the whole family, and we’re usually pretty unprepared to handle such a tough time. Should you ever find yourself in this situation, here are our recommendations to help get you through it.
- Be kind to each other
It may be hard to remember why right now, but you both got married for one reason – you loved each other. So, be kind to each other and try not to make an already difficult situation even harder than it already is. Studies show that men are twice as likely to commit suicide once they’re divorced. Either party, regardless of the cause of the divorce, shouldn’t cause unnecessary stress or pain.
- Find the right lawyer
Choosing the right divorce lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case – and you definitely don’t want to appoint a lawyer who acts as a mercenary in which you are just a means to fund their profits. A good idea is asking for a referral to a lawyer from other specialists such as accountants, psychologists or financial planners who often engage with divorce lawyers in the course of their work. If you want a quick and affordable settlement, make sure your lawyer has a win-win attitude.
- Be open and communicate
As we mentioned previously, a divorce is difficult for the entire family – not just mum and dad. If you have children, be open and communicate with them. They deserve to understand what is happening, and how it will affect their day-to-day lives. It can actually even help them to control their own anxiety.
- Put your health first
Your health is a number one priority, so take care of it. Don’t manage your stress by drinking more, or engaging in any other detrimental activity. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, reach out to your GP and request a mental health care plan which will help you on the road to recovery. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise, and speaking with friends or family can help too.
- Take a break.
Sometimes the pressure and stress can be too much and you need to take a break. If you have spare annual leave hours, consider using some of them in order to recover. Also, if you have an income protection policy in place and your GP is concerned about your mental wellbeing, make a claim – it’s worth it.
- Update your legal documents
Unless you want the proceeds of your Will, your superannuation and your life insurance policies going to your ex, make sure to update your nominated beneficiaries.
If you do ever find yourself in the situation of a divorce, be sure to follow the above tips, and put yourself and your health first. At Rising Tide, we can help take the stress out of updating and re-organising your financial documents, or at the very least point you in the right direction.
Aside from your financial concerns, if you feel the stress is is getting to much for you, talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:
- beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
- Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online.
- Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.
- Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) – online help.