It merits saying up front that separation, physical or legal, does not always lead to divorce. Sometimes separation can be a time of forgiveness and renewed commitment.

Deciding to divorce or separate can wreak havoc on your emotional well being.

Add kids to the mix and the stress involved can even impact a child's self esteem. Here's how to help alleviate that stress — in yourself and in your children. The stress associated with separation and divorce, however amicable, is one of life's major challenges and comes with an unhealthy dose of stress. Emotions can range from anger and anxiety to feeling insecure and incompetent. If you have children, you may also feel that you've failed them or see yourself as a worthless parent. Know that these emotions are a natural part of going through a split.