After finalizing a divorce, many people find themselves lost and spiraling out of control financially, socially, and emotionally. To start over after divorce takes courage, determination, and often help from many different places.
To address these common challenges, this article will discuss the next steps for an individual after finalizing a divorce and how to pursue a healthy and happy life after divorce.
Let Yourself Mourn
Recovering from a divorce can be a slow process, so you shouldn’t expect get back to your pre-married self right away. Acknowledge and accept the emotions you feel and try to forgive your ex-spouse and yourself over time.
Reconnect with Old Friends and Make New Ones
Very few people can start over after divorce all on their own, so now is the time to rely more heavily on the people who care about you. Reach out to old friends you haven’t seen in years, spend more time with your family, and join local meetup groups to expand your social circle when you’re ready.
Get a Handle on Your Finances
In addition to the emotional and social toll that divorce takes on an individual, there are also significant financial consequences. Now is a good time to create your own post-divorce financial plan to understand your personal budget and eliminate unnecessary spending. As you start over, plan to rebuild your credit, establish a financial safety net for yourself, and make wise investments to build up your savings account.
Update Your Legal Documents
You’re likely tired of paperwork after finalizing your divorce, but there may be other legal and practical matters that need your attention. For example, you might need to update your name on your driver’s license and social security card if you have changed it after your divorce. You also may need to update your mailing address, transfer title paperwork, or remove your ex-spouse’s name from joint accounts. Your divorce attorney can help you think of other matters that need your attention based upon your unique situation.
Reassess Your Retirement and Estate Planning Strategy
Your current retirement planning strategy and estate planning documents may also need some attention at this time to better suit your new life. As part of the process of starting over after divorce, you may want to contribute to a 401(k) or IRA, pay off mortgage debt, protect yourself with insurance, or eliminate certain tax burdens. This is also a good time to revise your will, trust, and other estate planning documents.
Choose a New Hobby
However, you shouldn’t get bogged down with too many practical matters all at once to avoid becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. Life after divorce is an ideal time to pick back up with an old hobby you used to enjoy or explore new hobbies. This may involve signing up for an art class, joining a fitness center to get healthy and in shape, or researching travel destinations to take an inspiring trip by yourself or with a friend.
Resources for Newly Divorced Individuals
Alatsas Law Firm is committed to helping you transition into life after divorce by providing legal assistance with divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. For legal help, please contact us online or at 718-233-2903.
Additionally, here are some other resources for newly divorced individuals that you may find helpful: