Moving on with your life after divorce can be extremely challenging, regardless of whether you or your former spouse initiated the process. Challenging, yes, but not impossible.
Figuring out a new path on your own can seem overwhelming. But the journey can be easier when you surround yourself with a trusted support network and set reasonable expectations for your new life.
Who should be on my post-divorce team?
Too many divorced individuals feel like they have to go it alone. But having support is crucial for navigating post-divorce life. It’s up to you who to include in that team. It might be enough to confide in close friends and family, but it also might make sense to have professionals, including:
- A therapist for your mental health.
- A financial planner to guide you through money and budgetary issues.
- A parenting coach can help you support your children during this difficult time.
- A family law attorney to address any custody or other post-divorce matters.
Regardless of the size of your team, remember that you are in charge. Your support network should help you through this new stage of your life, but only by doing what’s best for you.
Set practical goals
If you were married for many years, adapting to your new reality will take time. It’s not unusual to feel like your life is out of control. But you can regain your footing by setting achievable short-term and long-term goals. These include:
- Budget: Calculate your new living expenses as a single person.
- Income: Depending upon your budget, determine whether your current job meets your income needs or whether you need to look for a new job or upgrade your skills.
- Savings: If possible, open a savings account for you and your children’s future.
- Co-parenting: Find the healthiest, least confrontational way to interact with your ex-partner for raising your kids as one family living in two households.
- Housing: Whether you still reside in the family home or have moved out, figure out if it fits your budget and provides the best location and environment for your co-parenting duties.
Don’t forget to look for activities that make you happy and make time for yourself. Don’t rush into a new romance if you think about dating again, especially before thinking about what a healthy relationship looks like.
Asking for help isn’t a weakness
It’s normal to feel emotionally and physically drained after a divorce. But keeping those feelings bottled up usually leads to more struggles down the road. Utilizing professionals or leaning on those closest to you is a healthy way to weather this challenging time and move toward a happier life.