8 Real-Life Divorce Moments: Coping Tips

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Tips for a Smoother Split

Building a Better Divorce

What all these cases have in common, Margulies says, is "an over-reliance on the legal system." The couples in these cases called lawyers and "missed opportunities to stop acting out and start redirecting their attention to the future, and the goal of working things out." In other words, couples sometimes prefer to go to war against each other rather than work harder to find a peaceful outcome. That war -- and the revenge you feel you get from it -- might feel good, but just because you're divorced doesn't mean your ex doesn't matter. Especially if you have children together. "If your ex is a mess, your kids are going to be a mess. It's a paradox, but you have a vested interest in seeing that your ex-spouse thrives," says Margulies.

So the best way to handle an ugly situation is to stop it from happening in the first place, say all three experts. Get therapy, keep a level head, and do your best to take the higher ground. Of course you must protect your rights. Of course you may have to resort to battles. But whenever possible, disengage your emotions and make war the last resort, not the first -- you'll be doing yourself a huge favor. And fewer lawyers will be driving BMWs.


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