A divorce is a long, involved and often painful process. While a good family lawyer Toronto can assist greatly in this process, there is just no avoiding the pain that comes with the dissolution of such a key and important relationship. If you are in the process of getting a divorce, here are 5 key things to keep in mind.

1) Know the difference between a family lawyer and a divorce lawyer

When two people decide to get a divorce, it becomes infinitely more complicated when there are children involved. For that reason, there are attorneys who specialize in family law that can help you navigate the complexities of visitation rights, child support, trusts, inheritances and other legal and financial matters involving children and even grown offspring. Even if you do not have children, but your spouse does, it may still be a good idea to work with a family lawyer rather than a divorce lawyer.

2) Divorces are often two steps forward, one step back

Divorces are rarely a straight shot from start to finish. Many divorces involve long pauses and hiatuses where divorce proceedings can be put on a shelf indefinitely. This is not a bad thing. Sometimes when couples start to see the realities of the complications of divorce they decide it’s actually less effort to work out their problems than get a divorce. Other times, couples think working out their issues is the better solution only to discover their differences really are irreconcilable and divorce really is the only solution. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to make sure that when and if you do have a final divorce, it really is the right and best thing for you.

3) Let your attorney do his job

Divorces are, by nature, highly emotional proceedings. That’s what you have an attorney for. Let them do their job and set yourself free to start the process of healing.

4) As much as possible, keep your children out of the process

Remember that you chose your spouse, your children didn’t. Do your best to shoulder the pain of dissolving your relationship with your spouse on your own. Get a therapist, build a close network of friends or talk to other adult family members, but as much as possible, do not “unload” on your children.

5) Give yourself the freedom and space to grieve

A divorce is essentially the death of a relationship and as with other forms of death, it is quite natural to grieve. It would be inhuman, in fact, to not grieve. Give yourself the time, space and grace to do that. Don’t allow even the most well-meaning of people to pressure you into “getting back up on the horse” until you are good and ready.

There is no way around the fact that getting a divorce is painful, but there are certainly more healthy and less healthy ways of going through it. Having a good divorce or family lawyer by your side can definitely help ease at least a portion of that pain.