Tennessee parents, like parents everywhere, experience plenty of guilt during a divorce; it comes hand-in-hand with second-guessing yourself. “Am I making the right decision?” “Will I regret this?” “How is this going to affect my kids?” The guilt can be crippling. The team at the Bodie Law Office understands that divorce is never an easy decision to make, and when children are involved, the decision is even tougher. We have guided many clients through this difficult journey.

In the U.S., nearly half of all marriages end in divorce within 20 years, with 20 percent of them occurring in the first five years, according to the American Psychological Association. The divorce process can seem like an emotional roller-coaster for the entire family. Yet often, children are more affected by the conflict between parents who decide to stay together “for the sake of the children” than they are by a divorce.

Despite how you feel about working with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is important to maintain a cooperative attitude during negotiations so you can make sound decisions that are not based solely on emotion. The problems that brought your marriage to the point of divorce are sure to reappear during this process because you will be in close proximity to each other. Working things out amicably will give you satisfaction in the fairness of the proceedings and allow you to move forward as co-parents who must still work together to raise their children.

As you deal with emotions that can run the gamut, from guilt and anger to grief and fear, remember to treat yourself well, as you would treat a friend going through the same situation. Research has shown that people who treat themselves with compassion are better able to manage the daily stress and anxiety of dealing with the divorce process.

Unfortunately, guilt is a by-product of divorce. By dealing with the process, and your spouse, in a cooperative manner, you can help your children move past the heartbreak and adapt to their new lifestyle. Get more information about dealing with the emotional side of divorce on our webpage.