Starting over after divorce
Written by Monica Donaldson Stewart

Starting over after divorce

Once your divorce is finalized, it can feel like you are starting over with your life. At the same time, your career and many of your friendships and family relationships remain intact. No matter what stays the same, you will still have to make significant changes in many areas of your life.

Finances

You and your spouse will be dividing your assets in some fashion. The collaborative divorce process can help you reach an agreement about how to do so in the way that makes the most sense for your family. You’ll also need to divide any joint debts and consider applying for credit cards in your own name to establish an individual credit history. Finally, you’ll need to start over with utility bills in your new home and get used to a new budget that reflects your circumstances following the divorce. As the two of you collaborate with your professional team, you’ll be able to focus on coming to agreements rather than “fighting to win.”

Adjusting to your new financial obligations as a single person can prove challenging. If you were the primary breadwinner, you may now have the added expense of paying spousal support each month. If you are the spouse collecting support or suddenly making ends meet on your own income, you’ll need put in the effort to manage that money to meet your financial responsibilities.

Caring for Your Children

If you and your former spouse have children together, they’ll be starting over in a new life as well. For starters, they’ll have to adjust to not having their parents living together anymore. If both of you moved out of your family home, your kids will also have to adjust to two new homes and possibly change schools.

It is your responsibility as a parent to help make this transition as smooth as possible for your kids. Take the time to sit down and talk to your kids individually. Ask about how they are feeling and if they have any questions for you. Be as honest and open as possible (without oversharing information about the breakdown of the marriage) and avoid talking poorly of your former spouse. After going through a collaborative divorce, you’ll have the tools to help minimize parental conflict and this can have a positive impact on your kids.

Living Arrangements

One of your most important concerns in starting over after divorce may be where you will live. If the two of you owned a home, you’ll need to decide if one of you will keep it or if it will be sold. In a traditional or litigated divorce, you may be ordered to sell the home and split the proceeds, even if that’s not what either of you wants. With a collaborative divorce, you may reach an alternative arrangement.

Make Starting Over Easier With a Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce can make the process of starting over easier. You and your spouse will work together to come to divorce terms that address the needs of both parties. You’ll have the chance to advocate for the outcomes that you think are the best for your family. You also avoid the stress of going to court and letting the court make decisions about your divorce. Contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn more about the collaborative divorce process and to find out if it’s right for your situation.