Most people plan ahead for many of life's disasters, but the truth is, not enough people prepare for the end of a marriage. After all, marriage is traditionally viewed as a life-long commitment, so the idea of preparing for divorce seems distasteful. Life, however, brings on many changes, and about 50% of all marriages in the US are unsuccessful in surviving those changes.
It can be incredibly difficult to reestablish yourself after divorce, especially if you don't have a prenuptial agreement in place. However, many spouses go onto to have happy and successful lives, even if they have to make numerous personal and financial sacrifices along the way. There are, however, some universal tips that can help you navigate the pitfalls of life after divorce.
- Don't be afraid to seek counseling.
Even if your divorce was amicable, you're most likely struggling with a wide range of emotions such as guilt, resentment and self-doubt. Most individuals seek professional counseling after divorce, for themselves as well as their children. While family and friends are helpful, it's beneficial to seek unbiased advice from a third party professional.
- Focus on the children.
Your children are clearly the best thing to have resulted from your marriage. Doing what's best for them will be the most critical aspect of your post-divorce life, regardless of your relationship with your ex. It seems ironic, but your connection with your ex through your children can actually be the key to helping you thrive after divorce. By working with your ex to be the best parents possible, you will learn many important lessons about patience, forgiveness and compromise. These are lessons that you can apply to all areas of your life, whether you are single or partnered.
- Create a monthly budget.
Being awarded domestic support will certainly help, but it's still going to be a stretch to make things work on just one income. Creating a thorough and honest budget will help you see where you need to cut back. It may also help you realize that you need to find a second job, or move to a cheaper neighborhood. Because these are unpleasant realities, they're easy to put off until you see them in writing.
- Revise your estate plans.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that a divorce automatically invalidates your spouse's claim to your estate. Although individuals divorced in New Jersey do lose their claim on each other's wills, there are different laws governing properties such as investment accounts and life insurance policies. You should also designate another person to make end-of-life decisions on your behalf in order to avoid any confusion in the future.
In addition to emotional and financial changes, life after divorce requires numerous legal actions. It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that you are in full compliance with the law. Taking care of these issues sooner than later will help you live the best possible life after your divorce.