Let Your Values Be Your Guide: Before, During, And After Divorce

We are constantly making choices – from the simple and more immediate –  what to say, what to wear, how to act – to the more complex and long term – where to live, where to work, how to raise our children.  Ideally, our choices will be in line with our most important values instead of immediate emotional reactions to external events and circumstances.

Making even simple everyday choices may become very difficult as you move through the divorce process, which can often be highly emotionally charged.  Below are some tips to help you navigate your way through the divorce process.

1.   Take the time to identify your most important values.   Some examples of values are:  family, integrity, honoring your commitments, self-respect and respect for others, compassion, making a difference, excellence, and honesty.  The list is unlimited.  Be specific in defining your values.  For instance, if you value family, perhaps it is more accurate to say that you value being emotionally connected to your children.

2.   Ask yourself who you want to be – to yourself, to your children, to your co-workers, or to your boss.  Notice when and where you can make decisions and choices from your most important values, whether it be when identifying your goals, raising your children, or forming friendships and romantic relationships.

3.   Before you make a choice, ask yourself whether a decision or relationship is worthy of who you have chosen to be.  Even more specifically, before deciding to act, ask yourself if this action or choice is really in line with your most important values and who you want to be.

4.   Begin to identify your specific goals and interests – what you need from a final divorce settlement in your case.  For instance, do you want your children to be able to attend a specific school or engage in particular extracurricular activities?  Do you want to be debt-free? Do you want to be able to obtain education or training to explore career opportunities?

If you are in the midst of a divorce, it is important for your attorney to advocate and counsel you with your most important values and goals in mind.  If you have chosen to use a mediator to help you reach a settlement, your mediator should strive to achieve a comprehensive settlement that will reflect the values and goals of both you and your spouse.

For additional information on this topic or to schedule a consultation, please call my office at 973-292-9090 or feel free to email me at mhart@michelehartlaw.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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