Ultimate Divorce Survival Tips for Moving On

New Life, Old Life

Your partner says the words no man or woman wants to hear, “I want a divorce.” While you may not have been ready for this blow, it’s time to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage and move on. According to the CDC, more than 2 million people marry each year in the United States, with a divorce rate of more than half.

While your divorce may not seem as easy as it does on your favorite television show, just thank your lucky stars you haven’t had to make an appearance on “Divorce Court.” Take this challenging situation and make the best of it by incorporating these divorce survival tips into your life.

Build a Support Circle

Recognize your need for support to help ease the pain and the feeling of loss that a divorce can bring. Family and good friends are glad to lend a helping hand or a loving ear, allowing you to better cope. If you prefer unbiased advice and not the “He never deserved you!” speech from your girlfriends, consider visiting a therapist or divorce coach. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, never be embarrassed and share your experience with others who may be experiencing the same thing you are.

Stay Open to Compromise

It’s easy to be bitter about divorce, which often leaves you closed to compromise and understanding. When dividing up the physical property and assets, do so with a level head. This means not selling all of his belongings when he’s at work or painting his beloved Chevy Impala hot pink as he sleeps. Both sides must be willing to give and take to avoid drama and to make the arrangement easier on any children involved.

You also have to make compromises with yourself. Cutting back on expenses and downsizing on non-necessities can help you stay out of a financial stress red zone. Moving to a smaller apartment or condo or trading in for an economy car can save you a lot in living expenses. Even little changes in your daily routine can save more than you think. Minimizing your phone plan or bundling your television and Internet service is a great way to cut unnecessary costs. To make a little extra cash, have a yard sale. It is liberating to downsize your belongings and it rids your house of some painful memories.

Keep Kids Out of Conflict

Divorce is a life-changing situation for both parents and kids. While pain is inevitable, there are a number of things you can do as a parent to help your children deal with grief and personal feelings in an acceptable way. As many as 1.5 million children in the U.S. feel as if their world is falling apart after their parents’ divorce, according to Scientific American. Be neutral in front of your kids by never bad-mouthing or criticizing the other parent in front of them or putting them in the middle of conflict.

Do Everything by the Books

Divorce proceedings are a little like going into war. It’s crucial to be prepared for the battle, but just as vital to follow all laws pertaining to divorce procedure in your state. Seek legal advice early on to know where you stand. Dr.Phil.com recommends making yourself indispensable by putting your name on all bank accounts, deeds of trust, investment accounts and utilities. Ensure that joint signatures are needed when it comes to financial transactions to prevent your spouse from emptying your bank accounts.

Take Care of Yourself

/ Don’t get too caught up in the madness of divorce and take the time to do you. It’s easy to think clearly and rationally when you have had a good night’s rest, proper nutrition and are exercising regularly. Exercise, eating well and relaxation are the keys to being healthy and stress-free. Also, take the time to redefine yourself as a single individual, rather than part of a couple. Take up new hobbies or interests, and explore places and things you never had the opportunity to do before. Caring for yourself first leaves you better equipped to handle anything divorce throws at you.

Posted by CJ Newton, MA, Therapists.com Editor on September 26, 2013 at 05:00 AM

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