You have heard that divorce can be challenging, but how bad can it be? Well, you are ending a marriage that may have lasted several decades or longer. You may have young children involved. You may be close to retirement and struggling financially. It is possible that you may have been with your spouse since high school or college.
You may be scared about what happens next—and for good reason. Many people underestimate how hard life will be after divorce. Where will you live? Do you have a job? Will there be enough money to pay the bills? Do you even know how much the bills actually cost?
The truth is that life is easier when you have a partner by your side. But if you and your spouse are not good partners, then your marriage may be absolute hell and being single would be a much better life.
However, a divorce should not be a rash decision. Avoid divorcing without some sort of plan in place. The earlier you prepare, the better. Do not forget to get help from others. Find friends and family to lean on during this difficult time.
Also, take your divorce one step at a time. Things will not be smooth sailing at first. In fact, it could take a few years to get back into a rhythm, but things will fall into place eventually.
So what challenges should you expect after a divorce? Here are some of the biggest ones.
In many situations, women have never paid the household bills. Their husbands controlled all the money, so when they divorce, they are in for a real surprise when they find out the true cost of living. Once they receive the utility bills, mortgage bills, insurance bills, and credit card bills, they get a true sense of how much things cost and it can be truly eye-opening.
Even when a person receives alimony and child support, it may not be enough to pay the bills. A parent who once stayed at home to watch the kids will have to get a job to survive after divorce—maybe even multiple jobs. Living is not cheap by any means.
While women tend to be affected the most financially, everyone who goes through a divorce will likely get a rude awakening when finances come into play and most will see their standard of living decline for a while. This is a good time to cut back on unnecessary expenses and make sure food, shelter, clothing, and utilities are all covered for now.
Running a Household
Running a household on your own is not an easy task, especially when kids are involved. When you were married, you had a partner to help. Now, you have to wear all the hats and it is a huge juggling task. If you have shared custody, then you do get a break every so often. But when you do have the kids, it is all you.
Taking care of kids means keeping track of a ton of duties, such as brushing teeth, clothing, keeping track of school work, making doctor appointments, and coordinating extracurricular activities. There is cooking, laundry, and cleaning on top of that.
Ideally, after a divorce, things are the same at both households and the kids can acclimate well. This does not always happen though. What tends to happen is that one parent does all these tasks, while the other has no clue. It is not uncommon for kids to complain that they have no clean clothes or food to eat while at one parent’s house. The parent may have to actually hire someone to help cook, clean, and take care of the kids. It can be very chaotic for all involved.
After a divorce, it can be hard to keep relationships, especially with friends. You will likely see family members at parties and other events, so it is easier to keep in touch with them. However, friends may disappear once they learn about your divorce. This is especially true if your friends were close to both you and your ex.
Divorce can be confusing. Those who have never been divorced may not know how to react. You may have to be proactive and keep reaching out to them. Try to make plans to meet up and keep up the friendship.
Relationships may also include dating. After a bad marriage, you may be ready to find true love again, but where do you start? If you have not dated in decades, you may feel lost.
Online dating is the way to go nowadays, unless you know a lot of single men or women or enjoy being social and meeting with people in person, such as in bars. Online dating sites such as match.com and eHarmony offer a wider pool of single people that may be good matches. It can be overwhelming, so make it fun. Have a friend help you make an online profile and look for possible matches. The joys of being in love again can make all the challenges of a divorce well worth it.
Seek Legal Help
Divorce is challenging in many ways. You are losing your life partner as well as the life you built together. Make sure you are prepared for what lies ahead.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you through your divorce and beyond. Whether you need emotional support or legal or financial advice, there are many options available to you. Get started by scheduling a consultation. Call (954) 398-5712 or fill out the online form.