4 Common Mistakes People Make After a Divorce

pencil eraser - common mistakes after divorce

When those divorce papers are finally signed and the process is complete, you likely feel as if you’ve completed a marathon. Now, you are ready to bask in the new life that awaits you.

However, divorce is a stressful and sometimes traumatic event. No matter what the circumstances, all parties need time to grieve and to heal. 

As you begin the journey to rebuild your life and move on from your marriage, you will inevitably make decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you navigate this difficult period while setting yourself up for happiness and success in this next phase.

1. Disregarding Court Orders

Sometimes, in an effort to separate themselves from the past completely, divorced parties avoid the realities of court orders and alimony payments. Ignoring these, however, can result in a return to court, fines, or jail time. In the future, such avoidance may also cause you to have less control over decisions with your ex-spouse.

Be mindful of the laws in your individual state. In some instances, money you pay directly to your ex-spouse may not be considered alimony or support. At times, that results in one party having to make an additional payment. 

2. Neglecting to Make Key Lifestyle Changes

When former spouses fall back into their routines they had while married following a divorce, they risk extending the pain and, likely, avoiding the new financial reality. A new schedule that includes when to see the children, activities to avoid too much alone time, and maybe a new home or even gym is often the key to recovery.

When you are losing one income in a household, some financial changes need to be made. Take time to write up a new budget you can easily adhere to. In addition, be sure the deed of your house, if you are still living there, and the car title, if you own the marital car, are solely in your name. Years down the road, you will not want to acquire your former spouse’s approval for decisions on these items.

3. Remarrying Too Quickly 

An exciting and often frightening part of the period following a divorce is re-entering the dating pool. After not being single for years, the idea of meeting new people can be intriguing. If you haven’t healed, however, you might find yourself wanting to settle down quickly and return to the married life you once enjoyed. 

67 percent of second marriages end in divorce, as well as 74 percent of third marriages. Instead of risking joining this statistic, take time to focus on you and what you truly want next in your life. Using this period to heal and self-reflect will help you make decisions with a more open and thoughtful mind.

4. Refusing to Reach Out for Help

For a wide variety of reasons, many people who have recently gone through a divorce keep their feelings hidden from those closest to them. It may be a sense of pride, a feeling of failure, or not knowing who to go to, as you shared friends. 

Isolating yourself during such a hard time risks poor mental health, prolonged healing, and even self-destructive behavior. Instead, push yourself to make connections. Spend time with good friends, even those you once shared. Join local activities, look into networking in your industry, or check out support groups nearby. Focus on building a community of support.

As you work through your divorce proceedings, and venture into life afterwards, never hesitate to reach out to our compassionate team of attorneys for guidance and counsel.

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