Divorce tears apart not only immediate families, but also relationships with in-laws. While some spouses complain endlessly about their in-laws, others mourn their loss. But is it really necessary to say goodbye? Depending on your situation, you could maintain a strong relationship with your in-laws long after you sign your divorce papers.

If You and Your Ex Co-Parent

If you and your ex had children together, expect in-laws to play a significant role in your future, for better or for worse. From piano recitals to baseball games, they’ll share in many of your child’s most important milestones. At minimum, maintain a cordial relationship. If you’re on amicable terms, plan outings with both in-laws and your children.

If You and Your Ex Didn’t Have Kids Together

Maintaining a relationship with in-laws can prove tricker for divorces not involving children. It’s far from impossible, but it will take ample effort on your part. Let your intention for an ongoing relationship be known. Exchange contact information and plan regular outings, ideally without your ex.

Don’t Complain About Your Ex

Your need to vent is understandable. That being said, it’s imperative that you find somebody other than your former in-laws to confide in! Instead, focus on shared interests, such as your children or hobbies. Also worth avoiding: using an in-law to communicate with your ex. This person will quickly come to resent playing messenger.

When to Let Go

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it’s impossible to remain close with in-laws after divorce. Your former in-laws may feel pressured to choose sides—and in all likelihood, they’ll stick with blood relationships, no matter how much they empathize with your situation. If former in-laws fail to respond to your messages or outright reject your invites, wish them well and move on.

No matter your relationship with your in-laws, you owe it to yourself to work with a trustworthy divorce attorney. You can count on the Brown Law Offices, P.A. for compassionate representation. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.

You’ve moved into a new apartment, signed divorce papers and begun referring to yourself as single. Why, then, does your divorce still feel incomplete? Turns out, your work may not be finished until you grant your ex genuine forgiveness. This may be easier said than done, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Read on to learn why:

Why Forgiveness Helps Us Heal

Forgiveness prompts tremendous health benefits, both immediately and far into the future. A noteworthy study from Hope College indicates that even brief rumination on a past transgression can immediately increase blood pressure, heart rate and sweating. Angry rumination—equated to unforgiveness—also prompts anxiety. When asked to empathize with the transgressor, however, most people experience reduced physical arousal.

In another study, those who rated their relationships as terrible suffered higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. They also scored lower in regards to their willingness to forgive. Those happy to forgive rated their relationships higher and experienced reduced cortisol levels.

How to Practice Forgiveness After Divorce

The exercise highlighted above could be key to achieving full forgiveness, no matter your spouse’s transgressions. Take a few moments to direct your thoughts to your ex’s behavior. Instead of playing the blame game, express empathy for his or her situation. You can acknowledge that your ex made poor decisions while still demonstrating compassion.

Additionally, it may help to pinpoint the lessons in your difficult experience. What did your ex-spouse’s behavior teach you about choosing a partner and maintaining a positive relationship? Could your previous turmoil have made you more resilient or empathetic? Think of yourself as one step closer to living a truly rewarding life, whether as a satisfied single or with a new romantic partner.

Don’t grant forgiveness merely for the sake of your ex or your kids (although doing so can make life easier for all family members). Do it for yourself. If you acknowledge the physical and mental health benefits of forgiveness, you’ll find it easier to grant it to a former spouse.

As you make progress on your path to forgiveness, let us assist you with the other complications of divorce. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at your earliest convenience to schedule a case consultation.