New Year’s Resolutions


2 January 2020

By Farhad Islam

Going through a divorce or separation is difficult. Emotions are high and even if two people agree, the changes can be overwhelming and stressful.

All too often it is tempting to get into tit for tat arguments that lead nowhere.

So why not make a few resolutions to help you through the difficult times.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Treat yourself and your ex with respect. While you may not have a tremendous amount of respect for your ex as a person, you can talk to them respectfully.
  • Avoid making personal attacks. When discussing issues or addressing disagreements, avoid statements that judge or assign blame to one another.
  • Listen to the other's perspectives and concerns; you may be surprised how much you still have in common
  • Be business-like. It is helpful, especially in the early stages of separation or divorce, to handle issues between each other in a business-like manner.
  • Focus on the future, fairness and the interests of any child involved. Avoid conversations that address old issues, personal information or encourage conflict.
  • Try to deal with your situation as it is rather than trying control your ex or the situation.
  • Have a ‘time-out’ rule. It’s tempting to respond angrily to a text or email but wait until you have calmed down. Look at your response again with an objective eye. If the same happens in direct contact with your ex, simply step away. Explain that you will contact them once you have had time to think.
  • Don’t dwell on your anger. It’s tempting to sit and mull over every unkind word or action or to plot your response. When you start to slip into doing this find a distraction. Call a friend, go for a coffee or for a walk. Don’t let your anger own you.
  • Work on your self-esteem. Sometimes hanging on to anger and hostility can be about having hurt pride, feeling betrayed, embarrassed, or having failed – or simply feeling that you have been used. Being able to like yourself can help a lot. Look at the things you have done and do well, believe in yourself and your talents.
  • Give yourself some "me" time. Treat yourself to a bit of time out: take a break or get involved in an interest or hobby that will inspire you.
  • Think about getting help from a professional. If your emotions are overwhelming or your ex's behaviour is too much for you to manage on your own, there is no shame in seeking support from a professional counsellor, divorce coach or therapist.

Appoint a lawyer who is a member of Resolution. All our family lawyers are members of Resolution which is an organisation that believes the process of separating, sorting out finances and child care can and should be done in a way that minimises conflict and keeps the best interests of any children at the heart.

Talk to our family law department or telephone us on 01245 493939 or email us at

This is not legal advice: it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.