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What “stigmas” will I face as a divorcee?

There will always be people who disagree with divorce. They could be your parents, friends, coworkers, or even strangers. These people have reasons why they are anti-separation, but regardless of their beliefs, divorces are just part of reality. Whether it’s because of an abusive relationship, a loss of trust, or even general unhappiness, divorces will continue to be the right option for many people.

If you or a loved one are in the midst of a divorce, you may encounter various stigmas associated with separation. Keep in mind that many people have never experienced the pain of a divorce, and may feel uncomfortable approaching the subject. Those who do not support the action may flat-out refuse to discuss it, or even try to reason against it. Remember that the decision to get divorced is between you and your partner alone. Divorce carries stigmas, but you are not required to carry them. In fact, your life will be much more positive if you do not!

Here are a few stigmas of divorce and ideas on how to overcome them.

Money Stigmas
Divorce is expensive. Lawyers, therapists, separate living spaces, and other aspects of separation can quickly drain your wallet. However, the belief that divorces always end up with one wealthy person and one financially crippled person is false. Couples can separate amicably and choose to split their money evenly. Divorce does not require you to attack your partner’s savings. Especially for those with children, a fair monetary split would be beneficial in maintaining a sense of normalcy for both parties. If you and your partner cannot reach an agreement alone, a mediator can be brought in to help.

Living Arrangement Stigmas
Usually, if you’re separating from your partner, you’re doing so both legally and physically. Most people want to find their own living arrangements away from each other to maintain a peaceful distance, as well as some space for rest and healing. Some may consider this movement from one home to another as something to be pitied. However, moving is simply a part of life. Many people migrate due to jobs, to be closer to relatives, or simply for a change of view. While having to move during a divorce may be inconvenient, that does not make it unnatural or irregular.

Family Stigmas
Many people disagree with divorce due to the pain it can cause a family. Children can have a hard time understanding the process and seeing its positive effects. Relatives you may have been close with can suddenly become distant. However, as stated earlier, divorces don’t have to be a war. Divorce can carry the stigma of a broken family, but careful and thoughtful planning can make this easier to overcome.

Huffington Post’s Laura Lifshitz said she and her ex-husband worked out a schedule of caring for their daughter that worked best for their child, not for themselves. “Most women balked when I said my ex-husband has our daughter three days a week,” said Liftshitz. “Sure, it would be nice to have my daughter more, but what’s more important here? My selfish wants or her unselfish needs? My ex is an amazing dad and it takes two people to make a baby.”

Talking to a counselor or finding resources at your local pediatrician’s office can provide immense helping in guiding your children through this difficult time. Spending time with your families reminds them that you’re trying to maintain some normalcy and balance.

If you have questions about divorce but don’t know where to start, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce professionals, or attend one of our Raleigh divorce workshops, held on the second Saturday of each month.

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