If you’re like many unhappy spouses, you probably have a list of New Year’s resolutions. If filing for divorce is one of them, your list of resolutions is probably very different than it was in previous years.
Instead of planning to “read more” or spend more time at museums, you’re probably planning on getting fit, spending more time with family and friends, creating a balanced budget as a single person, taking new classes, and improving your value career wise. After all, when you file for divorce, there is no better time than to start focusing on yourself.
For recently separated or divorced people, it’s easy to get emotionally caught up in the divorce. Often, feelings of anger, sadness, and loss are overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Instead of viewing a divorce as a failure, you want to think of it as a liberation, a second chance at happiness – and the sooner you get started the better.
Surely, you can expect to go through the initial emotions, which can be intense, but you don’t want to let these feelings limit your happiness for too long. If you have children, now is a great time to focus on them, without your cellphone distracting you.
If you don’t have children, you may want to focus your energy on your family and friends, or consider taking a trip to change the environment and get your mind off of things. If what you really need is “alone time,” then by all means use that vacation time you have saved up and get away.
Put Your Needs at the Top of Your List
If you have children, you need to find balance with their needs, but you certainly want to put your needs at the top of the list. When a family is struck by divorce, children need their parents to be loving and emotionally strong. If you’re constantly angry or sad, it won’t be good for your children and it won’t help them cope with the divorce. So, you need to look for activities that can be therapeutic, that can improve you mood.
Think, what will help me right now? If re-enrolling in college, or getting a new job, or visiting close friends or family, or taking a trip with your children will put you in a better place, then by all means do what needs to be done to ease this major transition.
Money Matters Post-Divorce
A large percentage of Americans feel like their finances could be better. When you get divorced, you want to put adequate attention on your personal finances. Since the majority of divorcées find themselves more cash-strapped after a divorce, it’s critical that they take a good hard look at their finances and start implementing smart financial strategies.
For example, let’s say a stay-at-home mom has been out of the workforce for the last five years. While she may be anticipating spousal support, it’s not automatic. If a woman’s husband cannot afford to pay spousal support, she may not receive it. In that case, she needs to start thinking about re-entering the workforce and how she’s going to do it.
If her children are school-age and her husband does not earn a lot, she may have no other choice but to find a job. She needs to evaluate her situation and ask herself:
- What will I do if the judge does not award spousal support?
- With my work experience, can I get a good-paying job?
- Should I go back to school so I can get a better job?
- How much money will I need each month to support myself and my children after the divorce?
For husbands and wives that have been out of the workforce so they can raise children, often, their education and job skills are out-of-date. In these situations, it may be necessary for them to return to college, take online classes, or attend a vocational school so they can get a decent-paying job, one that allows them to afford Southern California’s high cost of housing.
Aside from improving one’s employment situation and opportunities, it’s important to put focus on money itself. Unless you’re wealthy, you probably don’t want to look for happiness in a new flat screen TV, or with a lavish home you can’t afford. Instead, you’re better off creating a balanced budget, putting money in savings, paying off debt, and finding ways to increase your income.
As a matter of fact, if you feel somewhat or completely out of control during your divorce, the one thing you can control is your money: how you spend it, how you save it, and how much you make.
During a time when you feel helpless, you can take your energy and focus it on improving your financial health. If you can afford one, now is a great time to see a financial advisor and get advice on saving and investing.
Letting Go of the Past
If you’re feeling down and out, or holding on to the bitter aspects of your divorce, it’s time to let go of the past. Here are a few ways to help you let go and move on with your life:
- Spend loads of time with family and friends
- If you have children, spend quality time with them
- Don’t regret yesterday, instead focus on tomorrow
- Tell your loved ones how fortunate you are to have them in your life
- Engage in your favorite hobbies and leisure activities
- Eat right and get into the best shape of your life
- Do something you’ve always wanted to do
- Consider trying something new and exciting
- Forgive your ex and yourself for the divorce and move on
- Create happiness in your own life before looking for someone to share it with
- Close the book on your marriage and focus on the next chapter of your life
- Be polite and respectful to your ex, regardless of how you feel about him or her
If you are contemplating divorce, one of the best ways to feel good about the process is to have an experienced divorce attorney representing you and looking out for your best interests from day one. For the dedicated legal representation you need, contact Claery & Hammond, LLPfor a free consultation!