Setting Boundaries During & After Your Divorce

While emotions are running hot and tempers are tested with a divorce looming overhead, it can be tough to navigate the stressful situation with clarity. Instead of succumbing to sadness, anger, or worries about the future, establishing some healthy boundaries between you and your spouse is a great way to calm the tension and begin the healing process. While every divorce situation comes with its fair share of difficulty, here are some simple steps you can take to set you and your family up for success with consideration for everyone involved. 

Develop Realistic Boundaries at Home

If you, your spouse, and your children share a common living space, it’s important to clearly discuss living expectations and why setting boundaries is important to you. Establishing healthy boundaries is especially important if the divorce is not a mutual decision. While it may be better to find another place to live until the divorce is finalized, oftentimes, renting another apartment or home is out of the question. If you’re still living together, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion about boundaries with consideration for everyone in the home.

If you have access to a spare bedroom, basement, or private living space within the home, moving your essentials out of shared bedrooms, community areas, and other shared spaces is a great place to start. Once you have defined your private areas, you can create a schedule for shared spaces. For example, from 4-6 pm, you have access to the living room and kitchen, and from 6-8 pm, the common areas are theirs. If children are involved, maintaining this separation can be a challenge, but with open communication and clear expectations, reducing tension and creating healthy space in the home is possible.

Maintain Appropriate Communication

During and after the divorce, it’s essential that you respect each other’s communication wishes. Keep discussions focused on necessary topics without letting emotions or anger take control. This can be difficult if you have shared obligations like child care or financial needs, but reaching a fair compromise about acceptable communication is important. 

Just as important as establishing healthy boundaries within the home, clearly explaining your communication boundaries is key. If you and your spouse ended on good terms, perhaps you both agree to speak from time to time. If you’d rather not speak with your spouse and communication leads to dispute, services like divorce mediation in Suffolk County provide an unbiased way to reach fair compromises focused on the facts of the situation. 

Consider the Needs of Everyone Involved

Establishing healthy boundaries following a separation almost always involves the needs of others. As you’re establishing healthy boundaries, be sure to account for the needs of children, friends, and family members impacted by the separation. It can be tempting to isolate when faced with a stressful divorce, but when you think about the bigger picture and involve others in the boundary-making process, achieving an amicable separation that supports the wellbeing of everyone involved is attainable.