The Hardest Decision: What to Expect When Getting a Divorce


There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to getting a divorce. It’s a daunting experience that is often one of the hardest and most painful decisions.

We made a list of some things to expect during divorce proceedings that will help make the overwhelming process a little more manageable.

Keep reading to learn more.

There Are No Real “Winners” in Divorce Cases

Many people start their divorce with the overall goal of “beating” their spouse in court. Very rarely do divorced couples end up with exactly what they asked for.

For example, one spouse might be granted primary physical custody of the children but will have to settle for a significantly lower amount of spousal support than they asked for.

Telling Your Children About the Divorce

Your children are a lot more intuitive than you think. Depending on their age, they may have seen this coming for a while now. Especially if they have seen you crying, having frequent shouting matches with your spouse, or simply noticed the lack of smiles or laughter between the two of you.

Experts recommend for both parents to tell the kids together, avoid assigning blame, and to put up a unified front. One of the important things you could do for your children at this time is to assure them that you both love them and they are not at fault.

Psychological studies have proven that the more parents fight during a divorce, the more damaging the whole process is to the children.

This is also not the time to force your children into picking sides. No matter how upset or hurt you are with your spouse, you should not try to damage or discourage a healthy parent-child bond.

However, if you are in an abusive marriage, we recommend that you consult with a certified divorce attorney.

Consider informing your child’s school of the situation regardless of how embarrassing it seems. Teachers, as well as guidance counselors, will have a better understanding and forgive some incomplete schoolwork or minor lack of judgments your children may show during this tough time.

Telling Friends and Family About Your Divorce

You may be wondering when and how you should tell your friends, family, and place fo work about the divorce. The answer is sometimes for your friends and family, definitely for your boss or dedicated HR representative.

It’s usually best to inform your parents first, and then move on to your siblings and other family members or close friends next. Most of us fear humiliation or fear condemnation from others, but we should not concern ourselves with the opinions of others.

At some point in time, someone will probably ask you an intrusive or inappropriate question. A simple, “I appreciate your concern, but I don’t feel like discussing that right now” should do the trick.

Temporary Living Arrangements with Your Spouse

It is not always necessary that the wife or the husband leaves the house during the divorce process. According to the law, you cannot force one another to leave the house just because one of you wishes it.

Deciding to arrange temporary living arrangements for yourself or your spouse depends on this situation of your marriage. If you two are able to carry on living in the same dwelling, great.

If you two can’t spend 5 minutes with each other without it ending in a shouting match, maybe it would be best if one of you stays somewhere else.

Understanding Your Legal Options

Telling your friends and family is the toughest part of the divorce process. Figuring out the divorce logistics makes it real. Take a day or a few to educate yourself and research the different legal options available for divorce in your area or state.

Learn enough to have a better understanding fo the process and also so you can ask the right questions when selecting an attorney. Select the one who has the best track record for the legal option you are hoping to pursue when getting a divorce. 

Avoid a general attorney who “sometimes does divorces.” 

Future Living Arrangements

The most significant and most vital part of the divorce process is the financial and legal aspects. Deciding what to do about your marital residence and your future living arrangements is the next big step.

Go In With Reasonable Expectations

Divorcing spouses sometimes have goals that are inconsistent with the law or completely unreasonable. If you want your divorce case settled sooner rather than later, you need to understand how the local law applies to your specific case and have reasonable expectations about the outcome.

Your Life Is Going to Change

Individuals often go into the divorce process, having some sort of idea of how their life is going to change. However, it isn’t until you’re officially divorced that you can really predict how it will influence your life on every level. Shared friends may disappear. Kids will get angry and act out.

When couples decide on getting a divorce, they list all the things they hope won’t change. You’ll now have to adjust to a new normal and figure out how to make things work. Instead of spending Christmas together as a family, you may now have to arrange who the children spend Christmas Eve with and Christmas Day. 

It is better to start with the idea that nothing will stay the same, so you can be happily surprised if some things do.

Have Patience

Shorter marriages where there are no marital assets to split and no children typically get through the process rather quickly. If you two have accumulated assets during your marriage have children, the divorce may turn into a long, drawn-out, and sometimes frustrating process.

Be patient and have faith. The Family Court system is working hard, trying to protect the interest of all parties involved in a divorce case.

The Reality of Getting a Divorce

Getting a divorce may be one of the most painful experiences of your life, but when you have a better idea of what to expect, you’ll know how to make it a less daunting experience.

We hope our list of some of the things to expect during divorce proceedings will help make the overwhelming process a little more manageable.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you did, read more from our website.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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