Intense emotions are a common reaction to the end of a marriage. People often go through all the stages of grief as they come to terms with the end of their marriage. Anger, denial, deep depression and many other emotions can provoke abnormal or irrational behavior in many people going through a divorce.

Letting yourself experience your emotions and work through them is important, but you cannot let them run the show. Keeping your emotions in check and trying to be as rational as possible in the decisions you make during your divorce will go a long way toward protecting you from the negative consequences of emotional decision-making during the dissolution of your marriage.

Feeling angry or betrayed might push you to fight more than you need to

There is a notable difference between advocating for yourself and becoming contentious as a way to express your anger with your ex or your disappointment with the situation. There are many ways for people to keep their divorce affordable or even take control over the terms set by working with their ex in mediation instead of fighting in the courts.

If you let your anger take control, compromising and working together, which may be beneficial for everyone in the long-term, may seem like an untenable option. You could end up greatly dragging out how long court proceedings take while having minimal impact on the outcome of the divorce.

Using your kids to punish your ex is a tactic that could backfire

Some people want to hurt their spouse any way they can as they go through a divorce, and the children are often the tool that a spouse feels will have the strongest emotional impact.

Intentionally trying to alienate your ex from your children could mean that you choose to deny them parenting time or even that you start talking poorly about your ex in front of the kids to the point where it impacts their perception of and relationship with their other parent.

If your ex can demonstrate to the courts that you’ve engaged in an attempt to alienate the kids from them or interfere in their relationship and parenting time, the courts could view that as a sign of instability or an inability to co-parent. That could mean that eventually your ex gets more parenting time than you.

Trying to stay calm, working through your feelings outside of court and away from your children and focusing on the big picture are critical to minimizing how difficult your divorce becomes for you and the other members of your family.