When you’re going through a divorce, it may feel as if the process will never end. Once it does, you have a new life to build – but where to start?
Here are several “big concerns” many newly divorced people have and some tips on how to tackle them.
1. Creating new routines and traditions.
Separating your households, working out child custody issues and figuring out new job plans can all throw your former routines and traditions into chaos. Instead of letting yourself be blindsided by the children’s schedule or an upcoming holiday, sit down with your calendar now. Figure out when you’ll be seeing your children, when you’ll be on your own and what needs to happen – both on typical days and on holidays. Do you need to add 15 minutes to your morning schedule so the children make it to school on time? Does the upcoming holiday, which you used to spend with your spouse’s extended family, need a new plan – and if so, what do you want it to look like? Proactive planning can help both you and your children create new traditions and enjoy the process.
2. Building a new relationship with your former spouse.
If you have children, pay or receive spousal support, or are still involved in a business with your former spouse, you’ll need to develop a new kind of working relationship. Focus on communicating “just the facts” at first, but keep the communication lines open – especially in front of your children, who can learn positive lessons from your attempts to work constructively with their other parent. It’s common to struggle with feelings of anger, guilt, sadness or loss after a divorce. Plan ahead to deal with these in healthy ways, whether through exercise, meditation, social contact or professional therapy.
3. Adjusting to your new income situation.
From a financial standpoint, a divorce is like splitting up a business. Once it’s over, your personal finances won’t look the same as they did while you were married. Start by working out a new household budget. Find a way to save cash each month and put it in a savings account. Even small amounts build up over time, and seeing your “safety net” grow will provide a sense of security and confidence. If your career prospects aren’t what you’d like them to be, dust off your résumé and start connecting with friends, family and acquaintances in your search for a new job.
4. Focusing on yourself.
Juggling a new household routine, childcare and career may feel like it leaves no time for personal matters. But by focusing on your own needs, if only for a few minutes a day, you can build a reserve of energy and confidence within yourself that will help you make progress in other areas of your life. Reconnect with an activity you enjoy, reach out to your social networks (or build new ones) or take up a new activity that’s just for you.
5. Diving back into the dating pool.
At some point after your divorce, you may decide that it’s time to try to meet a new special someone. If you are considering seeking a new serious relationship, make sure you have taken the time to sort through your emotions regarding your previous marriage. If you have children, you should be upfront with them about your plans to date. You also should not try to hide your previous marriage and divorce from someone you are seeing – although that doesn’t mean you need to discuss the details of your previous relationship during a first date. Keep in mind that whether you date is up to you, and you should not let well-intentioned friends or family force you to start seeing people. On the flipside, you should not worry about what your friends and family will think if you start dating. It’s your life and your future.
An experienced Raleigh family law attorney can help you navigate the divorce process in a way that provides the best possible stability and brightest future for you and your children.