Life After Divorce: Preparing to Be On Your Own

on-your-own-after-divorceMany who go through divorce look back after all is said and done and wish there were a few things they knew before the divorce process began. Many wished they had hired an attorney. It would have been worth the money to them, even though it would have been expensive. Some also wished they had been reminded that even though the divorce process is very stressful and sometimes difficult, that time in the “black hole” is temporary. Especially if they did not want the divorce in the first place, it is not usually recognized that they are being given (or forced) an opportunity for a fresh start. Sometimes it compelled them to be more independent and to increase their own skills, even if it was painful doing so.

Preparing to Be On Your Own After Divorce:

1st: Create a Budget: Thinking about having plenty of money is a lot of fun, but when the discussion of money becomes a potential shortage of funds or decrease in available cash flow, the fun disappears. That’s why so many find themselves unprepared for the financial changes that come at them once the divorce is final. If you want to prepare yourself for life after divorce, you must determine how much income you will have to work with and use that to determine a functional budget. Not doing so is the quickest way to drown your new possibilities post-divorce in a cascade of stress.

2nd: Allow Yourself Some Time to Adjust: You’re entering a new stage. You’ll see a lot of changes. Some of the changes will be great, but others you won’t like. Or your kids won’t like. Or your former spouse won’t like. Many changes you won’t have control over, which might make it even more difficult. But it will give you an opportunity to grow. (Painful growth is the best kind of growth…..after it is all over.) Give yourself the time that’s necessary to evolve with the changes until you discover the balance that works for you and your family. In the process, do not make any important decisions, especially in relationships, until your friends comment that you have “settled in” to your new life.

3rd: Make Happy a Priority: To do lists and productivity are great, but don’t be so focused on accomplishing your next task that you forget to take some “me” time. Identify the things that make you happy and make sure that they are a regular occurrence in your life. These “happy” things, or moments, do not have to take a lot of money or time, but they will not likely happen automatically. Make time to enjoy.

4th: Face Forward: Don’t live in the past. If you find yourself starting a sentence with, “What if…” or “If only….” just stop. Take a breath and find something else to talk about. Or enjoy some silence. Focus more on the here and now – preferably pieces of the here and now that make you smile and laugh. When you feel the conversation swinging towards things that are going to take you into the past, remind yourself that you don’t look backwards – you focus on the possibilities ahead.

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again. Once the divorce is final, it’s time to move forward. In many cases, that means focusing on you. This does not mean that you “beat yourself up”. Consider all the strengths and talents you have and start using them. If you don’t know what they are, ask your close friends and family. They will help you out. Take the opportunity to rediscover who you are, who you always meant to be, and think of it as an adventure. And you’re the main character.

5th: Exercise: It may be walking. Maybe you’ll ride a bicycle for the first time in 20 years. It may be going to the gym. It may be training for your first 5k race. It may be a yoga class, or doing Zumba for the first time. Just get off the couch, get off Facebook or Twitter, and do something active. Any of those are great stress relievers.

For more information on how to move on after divorce or how to file for divorce, please get in touch with one of the experienced Arizona divorce attorneys at SHERIDAN LARSON, PLLC.

Information Not Legal Advice. This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.