There’s no doubt that divorce causes dramatic changes in one’s life. It’s an emotionally trying and exhausting experience.
After divorce, some of the biggest challenges stem from changes in financial status, the need to go back to work, living on one income, and taking care of children. It’s easy to feel lost and confused when faced with these types of repercussions.
But you don’t have to throw up your hands and surrender.
From Finances to Kids – Learn to Thrive After Divorce
It’s not pleasant to handle the changes divorce brings, but it’s also not impossible. You have to have the desire and willingness to take control of your situation and work diligently to stabilize your life.
Step 1: Handling Changes in Financial Status – Plan for the Future
It’s important not to think of child support or alimony as income. Child support eventually ends, and if you remarry, alimony payments end too. Plus, even if you were rewarded “permanent maintenance,” it doesn’t guarantee anything. Your ex-spouse may retire or be unable to work.
Consider your financial future carefully. Openly communicate and cooperate with your ex-spouse and enlist the help of legal and financial advisors. Avoid using your credit card to buy things you think will soothe your emotional stress after divorce. Getting into more debt will only hurt you in the long run.
Step 2: Living on One Income – Create a Budget
After a divorce, you may not be able to do all the things you used to do. Trying to maintain the lifestyle you had before your divorce will just cause you stress. Instead, develop a clear picture of your budget, demonstrate self-control, and stick with it.
First, make a list of all your sources of income. Then, make a list of all your monthly spending. Next, think about which expenses you could cut, especially luxury items and regular payments. While you may not want to disrupt your children’s lives, you may need to consider whether moving to a less expensive home or renting might be a viable and more affordable option. Lastly, call all your creditors and ask them to lower your payments.
Step 3: Going Back to Work – Learn New Skills
It may not be easy to go back to work after divorce, especially if you haven’t worked for a while. Consider taking classes to brush up on job-related skills, working from home, finding ways to make good use of your talents, or seeking out companies that would hire and train you at their expense. Also, don’t just think about jobs that you’ve done before. Working in a different field may give you more free time or flexible hours and could be better for you and your children. Make sure you put some time into researching opportunities.
Tell family, friends, associates, and former co-workers that you’re looking for work. Then, update your resume and include all your skills and volunteer work. Practice for interviews, dress for success. Speak calmly and professionally. It may seem daunting, but a job with sufficient income will boost your finances, self-confidence, and happiness.
Step 4: Caring for Children – Consider Their Needs
After a divorce, children can be emotional and unsure of what life will be like now that their parents aren't together any longer. More than ever before, your children need your time and love to ensure them that you still care for them. They also need structure, boundaries, and consistent discipline to keep their lives stable. Depending on their ages, they could also learn more responsibility by keeping rooms picked up, taking out the trash, doing laundry and dishes, or preparing a meal. And, finally, they need you to be an example in showing respect to their other parent. Therefore, don’t put them in the middle or speak poorly about your ex-spouse.
Whatever the challenges after divorce, remember that setting priorities, having a plan, and consistently sticking to it can help you thrive despite any difficulties you may have after divorce.