No one gets married anticipating that they’ll eventually get divorced. Unfortunately, divorce is a constantly-growing statistic. In fact, approximately 2,400 divorces occur each day. It’s a hard thing to wrap your head around, but divorce has become incredibly common.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for the people going through it. Whether your marriage ended amicably or on tumultuous terms, a divorce is a loss, and it’s okay to grieve. You might feel as though you lost a part of yourself, and you have to completely start over, redefine yourself, or really discover who you are without your former partner. It can take a lot of emotional management, especially if you have children in the picture.
Whether you’ve already filed for a divorce or the idea keeps crossing your mind, the best thing you can do is to be as prepared as possible. You don’t want to feel blindsided or feel like you have to scramble once the divorce process starts moving forward.
So, what can you do to prepare yourself, inside and out?
Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe and Informed
First and foremost, you have to do what’s best for yourself and your children. If your marriage is ending because you were in a dangerous or abusive situation, be sure to take the proper legal measures to keep yourself and your kids safe. For some people, that means filing for a restraining order and telling the administrators at your children’s school that the other parent isn’t allowed to see them.
Additionally, you may need to hire a good divorce lawyer to help protect you. You might know the facts, but putting those facts into legal terminology isn’t always easy. Plus, you have enough on your plate already. A divorce attorney can tell your story to a judge in a professional way and help you to come out of the divorce safely and with everything you’re entitled to. Divorce lawyers are also crucial if custody or parenting time is an issue between you and your former spouse.
Focus On Your Finances
Some people stay in marriages they aren’t happy with for years because they don’t think they can survive financially on their own. Maybe you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for years, or, maybe you do work but you couldn’t live on a single income.
Financial struggles can be scary, but they shouldn’t keep you in a marriage when you’re unhappy.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to create a budget. Go over your monthly expenses, and decide which things you can live without. You might have to make some sacrifices over things you’ve been used to with a two-income household or with someone else supporting you. But by making a few adjustments, you might find it easier to get your finances in order than you originally thought. A family budget needs to identify your income and how you spend it in great detail.
You should also track your expenses and determine your goals. If you’re struggling financially now, that doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Creating financial goals for yourself can help to motivate you. Maybe you’ll start a new career or a side hustle to reach those goals. In many cases, you may also receive support from your former spouse if you have children.
Whatever happens, having the numbers in front of you in an organized budget can help you to see things clearer in the midst of grief.
Seeing Clarity in the Future
One of the hardest things to do, even before you file for a divorce, is to have a clear picture of the future. That’s normal when you’re in an emotional state. You might feel as though you have to completely start over. If you were married for a long time, you might even feel like a piece of you is missing, or that you have to discover a new identity.
Divorce can be hard on your children, too. It’s a traumatic event, and some children may benefit from counseling in order to work through and process their emotions.
You may never fully be able to prepare yourself for a divorce. But, it’s important to do whatever you can to make the next stage of your life as clear as possible. It’s okay to seek out the help of a therapist or counselor or surround yourself with a support system of friends and family.
There are also support groups strictly for divorced individuals — both men and women. Hearing the stories of people who have gone through similar situations can often be a big help and allow you to see that things don’t always have to feel so hopeless.
It’s also okay to let yourself grieve, however that looks for you. When you get through the grieving process, you’ll have a better grasp on how to go through the next chapter of your life.
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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