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Helping a Divorced Sister

by Shannon Philpott

Divorce is an unsettling experience for the entire family, but when you witness your sister coping with feelings of anger, resentment and sadness, it’s natural to want to help her through this difficult time. Providing a shoulder to cry on, a helpful hand around the house and a willing ear for her fears and concerns can make a significant difference in her well-being and healing process.

Offer Emotional Support

While it’s likely you may feel anger or bitterness toward your sister’s ex, avoid spewing negative comments and placing blame. Offer her the support she needs by reassuring your sibling that you will be there for her when she is in need. When she is feeling alone, it may be comforting just to know you are there, suggests the law professionals at Lewis Kannegieter Law in Minnesota. Knowing that she has not only a sibling but a friend in her presence can provide great comfort.

Validate Feelings

As your sister works through a roller coaster of emotions, avoid dismissing these feelings or belittling her when moods change rapidly. Have compassion and allow her to express her emotions and process this major life change in her own way, suggests Adele Theron, therapist, mediator and founder of the Naked Divorce support series. Reassure your sister that she is valuable on the inside and out to help boost her confidence and self-esteem as she cycles through the many phases of grief following a divorce.

Lend a Hand

A helping hand is just what your sister may need during and after a divorce. Offer to help with housework, running errands, cooking, and transporting children to and from activities. A newly single, divorced mom may feel pulled in many directions while trying to juggle work, household tasks and the responsibilities of children. A helping hand from a sibling can help reduce the emotional stress and anxiety she may be feeling, suggests law professionals from Lewis Kannegieter Law.

Protect Her Interests

Your sister’s mind may be a bit cloudy during the grieving process that accompanies separation and divorce. Ensure that she has access to a family attorney to help with the legal aspects of a divorce, including division of property, distribution of assets, child custody, and child support or alimony, suggests law professionals from Lewis Kannegieter Law. Although many friends and family members will offer advice, it’s best to protect her interests by referring her to a trusted attorney with experience in family law.

About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

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