Divorce is a difficult process to go through; it’s emotionally challenging and even the most civilised of break-ups can take a lot of getting used to.
Divorce can be one of the most devastating events to happen in a person’s life outside of illness and death; it can feel like death – you’ve lost someone you loved and you are grieving in your own way. Even if you still see your ex-spouse because you have children, the person they were to you is gone and they take on a new, removed role.
There’s lots of advice out there about how to move on and what you ‘should do’ when it comes to navigating life after divorce. Marriage is a serious commitment and you may well have been in yours for many years; being without your ‘life partner’ or ‘soul mate’ can create a feeling of loneliness, panic and uncertainty and just because you are now divorced, it doesn’t mean necessary mean you are expected to throw caution to the wind and reinvent yourself. You need to sort the basics first.
Divorce is full of adjustments. You become ‘I’ rather than ‘we’, you enter into a new financial reality, schedules and shared parenting kick in and you are probably spending more time on your own than you are comfortable with.
Depending on how well your financial settlement negotiations went, you may have more or less money to live on and manage every month. If it’s the latter, then maximising the cash you have coming in and sticking to a budget is key. It may take some time to get used to doing your finances this way if you were used to having financial freedom before divorce, but getting into debt is a very bad idea.
If you have children from your marriage, then it is only natural that you will worry about the impact your divorce will have on them. However, children often adapt to change better than we expect and can grow up to become well-adjusted adults. They will need support from both parents during this time of transition into their new lifestyle and routine and they will need time to adjust. You’ve now moved from parenting to co-parenting and it’s important to re-frame that relationship with your ex. You are now two separate people with a joint interest in your children. If it helps, draw up a schedule, but be flexible and fair, give each other the time it takes to be the parent you want to be. That said, try and show a united front; children can be slippery little devils who still need boundaries, discipline, values and the love of both parents.
Your friends and family relationships:
Things will change. The friends who were ‘joint friends’ may choose a side and it might bother you a little that they are starting to treat you differently. Don’t waste your time trying to salvage the friendships you formed through marriage; focus on the people who are supportive of you. Divorce did not make you a lesser person and it’s time to follow your own path. This is your time now and you don’t need to compromise who you are to please others.
Learn to be on your own and enjoy it:
It’s important to carve out some time for you. This might feel like an alien concept, but if you have children and your ex has them alternate weekends or some designated nights during the week, this equals time for you…something you may never have had before. It can perhaps be daunting at first facing a whole weekend ahead of you with nothing planned, but you got a divorce, and you didn’t die – even if you thought you might at times. This is the best second chance in life you have. You can do whatever you please with zero spouse disapproval!
You never know, you may even learn to be happier than you were when you were married! You’ve made yourself a priority and you no longer have to deal with arguments, infidelity, lack of physical attraction, or any other factors that sunk your marriage.
Here at Arlingsworth Solicitors, we expertly understand the complexities and legal requirements around divorce, dissolution, and financial settlements and we are here to offer professional legal guidance 24/7 to provide you with the very best legal advice, support and representation.
If you, or someone you know, needs assistance, please contact our Brighton office on: +44 (0) 1273 696962 or our London office on: +44 (0) 203 358 0058. Alternatively, request a callback, or email email@example.com. You can also follow us on social media for any other important news and updates.
The information in this blog is intended for general information only. It is up-to-date at the time of writing. However, it does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated or relied upon as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.