It's a word no married couple wants to hear. Something that sends shivers down the spine of newlyweds. Divorce. But like it or not, its a pretty normal occurrence. Marriages fail, and if yours has, then it may seem like your entire world has shattered. But there's hope and you there are ways to power through this terrible experience with dignity, courage and hope. Here are some tips to dealing with an unexpected divorce. Tips for Dealing with an Unexpected Divorce Seek Solace If you have a tight-knit group of friends that you can rely on during times of trouble, contact them. The same applies for any family members or acquaintances that you can trust to keep things low profile while you navigate this challenging period in your life. However, more than anything, you need to stay close to your children. Surround yourself with loving, supporting people so you don't have to be alone while your go through the separation process. Have a Sit Down with the Kids Speaking of children, you need to have a conversation with your kids about the separation, preferably with your spouse. Some kids may not understand the notion of divorce, so try your best to explain to them. It's terrible for kids to find out they'll be growing up in a broken home, but some marriages can leave a family much worse if the parent stayed together. Make sure to tell your children that the divorce has nothing to do with them and that you and your spouse will love them no matter what. More than anything, children need assurances. Prepare the Paperwork Divorces can be messy, stressful and oftentimes very expensive. But if you and your spouse can separate on good terms, then all the better, especially for the kids. If the need arises, lawyer up, but For muslims, you need to file a divorce application, which on its own has dozens of clauses and exceptions such as needing both parties to agree to the separation and having been married for at least two years. The application can be done online or in person at your local Syariah office. For non-muslims, you need to file a divorce petition, which is almost like a divorce application except you apply to the High Court instead of a Syariah office. Get your Ducks in a Row Most people rarely come to terms with just how much their lives can change after a divorce. If you're a stay-at-home spouse for instance, your finances may not be the same as it once was. If you're lucky, your spouse will continue supporting you willingly or through mandatory alimony. But if not, then you'll have to quickly find an alternative source of income. Reduce expenditure, sell some of your stuff, down-size your accommodations. Do anything you can to save money. If by some chance you end up needing a lawyer, some extra cash may come in handy. Make Arrangements As painful as it can be to have a conversation with your soon-to-be ex spouse, it needs to be done, especially if children are involved. You need to determine visitation rights, custody, education, living arrangements, transport and everything else. Anything that requires money or contribution from both parties for the well-being of the child. Children of divorce have a higher chance of leading a normal, fulfilling life if both parents can find a way to co-parent amicably. Keep things Amicable The last thing you want to do is fight some more in front of your kids. Try and reign in your frustration and disappointment. What's done is done, try to live with your decision within the coming weeks. Maintain a sense of normalcy; get groceries, send your kids to school, clean the house. Keep to your regular schedule. Your kids need stability and balance, even as your marriage is falling apart. Even after the divorce process has ended, you and your spouse need to continue playing nice for the sake of the children. Separating on Good Terms Divorce doesn't always have to be an ugly thing. There are plenty of couples who manage to keep their differences aside for the remainder of the divorce process to protect their kids. You can try to do the same. However, an unexpected separation can still be jarring. Be sure to take it easy on yourself and take as much time as you need. The death of a marriage is as legitimate a death as any, and for there to be healing and hope for the future, you need to properly grieve for what was, to pave the way for all the wonderful things that are yet to come. Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!