Splitting up with your spouse is going to be hard, there’s no doubting that. If you’re unsure about what to expect, you’re not the first and you’re not alone. There are likely scores of people having exactly the same thoughts and doubts as you are experiencing right now.


Hopefully, everyone who takes a trip to divorce court will only be doing this once. So, it’s understandable you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused. These are just some of the things you’re likely to experience during the days, weeks and months before, during and after this confusing, overwhelming time.


Expect to be confused about court

Court is nothing like what you’ve seen on television. In real life, there’s nothing glamorous about it. Expect to spend a lot of time waiting around and feeling unsure of where you should be. Things are likely to move slowly and you’ll feel frustrated by the slow pace. You’ll be unsure of where to go and what you need to do.


Expect to need support from loved ones

You will need support from friends and family during this time. It’s essential that you have people who love and trust you at your side. They’ll be able to provide assistance and advice when you’re unsure. These are the people who will guide you through this difficult time. Some of your loved ones may even have gone through their own divorce; they’ll be able to guide you through the realities of this time.


Expect to feel like you’re losing

There will be many moments during this time when you’ll feel like you’re losing. Whether you’re negotiating custody of your children or haggling over money matters, there will, without a doubt, be moments where you’ll feel like you’re losing. And even when you do have a moment when you’re winning a negotiation, you’ll still feel like you’re losing.


Expect your life to change

Everything about your life will be different after a divorce. You’ll no longer have your partner at your side, if you have children, you’ll won’t have their parent around anymore, money will possibly be a little more tight, and you might even have to move. Everything about your new life is initially going to feel very different and foreign. It’ll take a while to adjust to the changes and get used to your family’s new lifestyle. Some of these changes will be positive, others will be negative. You’ll suddenly have to deal with household chores your partner always took care of. The bed will feel empty and you’ll be able to stretch out.


Expect to dislike your ex

There will be moments when you’ll dislike your ex. You’ll struggle to remember what you ever loved about them. You won’t remember your happiest moments or enjoy looking back at special occasions. While you’re talking custody and money, you likely won’t recognise your former spouse, much less like them.


Expect to feel like a failure

You promised to be with this person until death parted you. But you weren’t able to make that a reality. For whatever reason, your marriage didn’t work and you had to part ways. There will very likely be moments when you’ll feel like a failure, like there was something you could have done or a step which you could have taken. But you need to know that you’re sure of your decision to divorce and not just doubting yourself because you weren’t quite sure what to expect about the process of divorce.


Expect that your children will be impacted by the divorce

There’s no doubt that, whatever the age of your children, they will be impacted in some way. They might just be affected by the logistics of the divorce – losing a caregiver or having to move. Or they might be impacted in more profound ways which will require a lot of conversation and possibly therapy.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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