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Navigating Divorce: Develop Your Guiding Principle

Navigating Your Divorce: Develop Your Guiding Principle

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Divorces are incredibly taxing, and you may find yourself hitting a wall, at a loss for what to do. How do you make decisions when your divorce is full of turmoil and drama? What do you do when you’re divorce has been dragging on so long that you’re exhausted both mentally and emotionally? In these moments, it’s helpful to take a step back, take a breath, and center yourself around your guiding principle.

What Is a Guiding Principle?

At Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC, we really believe in the power of having a guiding principle when going through a divorce. The divorce process can be long and difficult, especially if you have shared children. Your guiding principle can be there for you when you don’t know what to do. It can be especially helpful for those we like to call “long-timers” (those in a difficult, protracted divorce). So what is a guiding principle?

Your guiding principle is the fundamental belief or strategy for how you approach life and helps you make difficult decisions, such as those you face when going through a divorce. A well-known example of a guiding principle is the golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated.”

A guiding principle can help us answer tough questions like:

  • How do I be a good parent while divorcing?
  • How do I respond to this difficult request from my soon-to-be-ex?
  • What am I supposed to do when my ex does something that upsets me?
  • How am I supposed to process this alimony decision I disagree with?
  • How do I protect my children from the animosity between my ex and me?

When going through your divorce, you will face many difficult decisions and situations, many of which will have no clear right answer. Your guiding principle can help you navigate these challenging circumstances.

So how do you develop a guiding principle? Keep reading for some helpful tips.

Tips for Developing Your Own Guiding Principle

When you’re in the midst of a difficult divorce, especially one that is long and drawn out, even making simple decisions can be overwhelming. This is where developing a guiding principle for yourself can help. But where do you start? Below we offer three tips for creating your own guiding principle, including where you can turn for support.

#1: Act in a Way that Lets You Hold Your Head Up High

One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce is knowing how to behave in any given situation. When you get nasty emails or the courts make a custody decision you disagree with, knowing how to react and how to move forward can feel impossible. Instead of feeling paralyzed in these moments, we advise that you step back and consider how you can act in a way that lets you hold your head up high.

It can be so incredibly difficult to take the high road when your ex does something that pushes your buttons or which you know is wrong. But making a commitment to yourself that you will behave in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself can help you feel more confident and self-assured in these moments.

#2: Make Decisions that Allow You to Sleep at Night

As we mentioned above, it is extremely challenging to not respond in kind when your former spouse does something mean or cruel. In the moment, lashing back out at them may feel like your only option. But if you can take a breath and get some distance, you may find that you regret the decisions you made in the heat of the moment. Instead, consider how you can make decisions that future-you can support and stand behind.

At the end of the day, you have to answer to yourself. Consider what decisions you are proud to own and what decisions will ultimately make you happier and your life (and the life of your children) easier in the long run. As hard as it is, not stooping to your ex’s level may help you pave the way for a smoother relationship in the future.

#3: Get Support from an Experienced Divorce Attorney

It’s very easy to say that you should always behave in a way that makes you proud and make decisions that allow you to sleep at night. However, this is not an easy task in practice, not by a long shot. This is where turning to your trusted attorney can help. When you struggle to adhere to your guiding principle, remember that your lawyer is there to support you during this process. They can help advise you as you make these lasting, important decisions. They can also help you when your former partner is fighting the divorce process every step of the way.

Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC has helped countless clients deal with acrimonious, difficult divorces. As a law firm, we rely on our own guiding principles of compassion and care. Whether you are considering divorce or are have already started the process, we can use our experience to help you. Send us a message online to schedule an appointment.

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