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How to Minimize Stress While Divorcing
1. Do not try to remake your ex through the legal system. I frequently get my clients to commit to carry an index card in their wallet or purse during the divorce. Then I hand them a card that says "I will not ask my attorney to make my ex-spouse be a nice person; I will not ask the court to make my ex-spouse be a nice person; I admit that I am powerless to make my ex-spouse be a nice person."

2. Anchor into your job. Arrive 15 minutes early, cut your lunch time short, stay 15 minutes late - in a small way, this may make up for the time you spend daydreaming or being preoccupied with personal problems during the day.

3. Anchor into family and friends.

4. Anchor into your church.

5. Treat yourself kindly. Do not overextend yourself. I frequently recommend to clients the "every other day rule". If you have anything to do in one night after 6:00 p.m., then the next night, you come home at 6:00 p.m., close the door, and spend the evening relaxing.

6. Prepare your case in advance. If your lawyer sends you discovery and asks that you work on it and make an appointment in two weeks, do not wait until the night before the appointment to prepare. Do your preparation as soon as possible after the request.

7. Take a daily walk. A 30-minute walk is a really good way to relax and put things into perspective. After the first week or so, you will start noticing little things in your neighborhood, little details that provide a lot of depth to life.

8. Tell yourself how good you are. When you get up in the morning, stand in front of the mirror for 5 minutes and repeat over and over "World, watch out! Your Name is coming through today!!"

9. Remember the kindest word is "no". All too frequently, we accept invitations or volunteer for worthy causes that eventually become "have-to-dos" usually at the worst possible time.

10. Be leery of drastic changes. If you have driven the same economy car for 7 years, this is no urgent need to buy that new sports car you have always wanted. If you have been in a lack-buster job for many years, now is probably not the time to change careers.

11. Think reflectively, not reactively. If your attorney sends you discovery, an insulting letter from the other side, etc., do not immediately call your attorney and launch into a tirade. Put the communication down and come back to it at a later date. Then re-read it several times, and try to put it in the proper perspective.

12. Do not dwell on the negative. Instead, count your blessings.

13. Look forward, not backward. Instead of wasting all of your time fretting about the bad things that have happened to you in the past, start planning your new life 1, 2 or 3 years down the road.

14. Remember you are crazy one year before divorce until one year after divorce.

15. Remember, there is life after divorce.

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Texas refers to custody as conservatorship and possession of a child. Texas law assumes that awarding joint conservatorship is in the best interests of the child. This would pertain to joint legal conservatorship, not necessarily physical conservatorship. The court defines the rights and obligations of each parent. Living arrangements are often designated to the parent that has been the primary caretaker of the child.
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