Mindset: How to Mentally and Emotionally Approach Your Divorce

At O’Driscoll Keller Law Group, we have been handling divorces for many years. We have found that the best outcomes involve people who take a business-like approach to divorce, keeping their emotions separate from their legal and financial decision making.

This approach is even more important when couples have a child with special needs, as parents will need to work together for the entirety of their child’s life without letting emotional baggage get in the way.

This is easier said than done. Here are a few ways you can focus on separating your emotional mind from your decision-making mind:

  • Talk to someone neutral: A licensed professional such as a therapist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or life coach. Pastors, clergy, rabbis and counselors are also a good option when you need to share your feelings with someone on the outside of your marriage.
  • Limit conversations about the divorce: Your family and friends mean well, but they are capable of providing you with advice that would do you and your children a disservice. More often than not, that advice is based on vengeance and victimhood, neither of which will help you get results.
  • Take some time for yourself before making major decisions: Don’t make any major life decisions without taking the time to get clear on what you want in your future life. This is the beginning of a new phase of your life and you should take the time to create a future you look forward to. Questions to ask yourself include:
    • How will the care and raising of your special needs child work in your new lifestyle?
    • What will the living arrangement and visitation look like?
    • If your child will be able to work as an adult, who will they live with and how will they get to work?
    • What kind of activities will they be involved in to fulfil their social and spiritual needs?
  • Make a plan for you and your child: Many children with special needs will need a Guardian when they turn 18. Divorce laws and guardianship laws vary from state to state. Our firm handles both areas of the law, allowing us to serve as your only attorney for all of your divorce and family law needs.
  • Create a game plan for dividing the finances: Your plan should include setting funds or assets aside for your special needs child. Depending on your family’s unique circumstances, it may be necessary to set aside money in a special needs trust or supplementary needs trust to provide your child with the funds they need after you are gone.

    Typical children are expected to eventually support themselves, but that is not always the case with a special needs child. Funding a trust after divorce can be difficult, requiring you to support two households as you attempt to regain the financial stability you had while married. This is a very specialized area of the law that our firm is experienced in. We are licensed to practice in Georgia, but we can consult with your attorney about these matters in any state.

Getting your mind right before making major life decisions will serve you will as you embark on the divorce process. Remember: a clear mind and a clear plan will set you and your special needs child up for success!

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