Surviving Divorce UPD
Knowing how to survive a divorce means being prepared for the expected and the unexpected. From finding a qualified divorce attorney and filing the necessary paperwork to dividing assets, the entire process can be overwhelming.
The decision or announcement to separate or divorce triggers a tsunami of crisis proportions, especially in the first few days. Whether you have made the decision or your spouse has, it can feel like the ground has fallen away under your feet. For many people, it is a life-altering trauma. Clients have told me they feel like they are suddenly living in an alternate universe.
As a way for how to survive a divorce and to become a better person, you need to examine your weak points. See where you need to nurture and pamper yourself all over again and do so. Pause all the things that make you feel like you will be losing your independence. Do all the evaluations necessary to build yourself up again.
As a solution for how to survive a divorce and to help yourself get away from the nastiness of divorce, change your routine. Continuing the same routine and crying on the sad changes will only complicate. You might even start settling for a toxic behavior because you falsely believe that it is a part of you.
For getting through a divorce, go see a counselor and talk about what you are going through. You will feel validated, and will use tools to develop skills to better handle things until you see that life after divorce can be bright and full of hope.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
The talk of divorce in your 30s can be shocking. Others may see it coming before you do (although this can be true at any age). When a split actually happens, emotions can be especially raw because you have less life experience. You care more about your social standing. Your circle of friends means a lot more. You worry how a split will impact your small children.
In some cases, one spouse may have agreed to be a stay-at-home spouse or support their husband or wife in the pursuit of an advanced degree. That can also put financial pressures on a young married couple and throw a wrench into how to survive following a divorce.
There may be sizable student debt to consider, or one spouse may have taken herself or himself out of the workforce entirely to raise a young child and now has to juggle working part-time and parenting part-time after divorce.
You may fight the feelings at first, but marriage becomes less and less gratifying, and somewhere along the way, layers be damned, you make the decision to divorce. It may be a triggered event (your spouse has an affair), or it may be a gradual waning, an itch that gets worse and worse until you feel you have no choice but to scratch it.
As you recover from the financial and emotional blows of divorce in your 40s, you can also take time to reflect on the next act of your life. It is a time to create new goals, redefine existing relationships, and seek out new relationships. Dating will be both terrifying and a thrill, depending on how you approach it.
Also driving the financial aspects of divorce after 50 is the fact that you now have less time to recover losses, pay off debts, and manage your retirement funds. You may be approaching the end of your peak earning years. Or you could already be the victim of an age-related job loss.
Because the stakes are raised, you need to fully understand the property laws of your state in a divorce. You either live in a community property or an equitable division state and understanding what governs a division of assets is going to be critical to protecting your future at an older age.
One thing to be especially on guard for after a divorce in your 60s is the issue of depression. Post-divorce depression can happen at any age, but as the body changes, depression can creep in where there was none before due to hormonal changes, other illnesses, thoughts of loneliness, and a general sense of hopelessness at the prospect of being alone later in life.
Take stock about where you are in your life. Each age along the divorce continuum does offer difficult choices, but it also presents opportunities to restart your life in ways you may not have imagined.
Jason Crowley is a divorce financial strategist, personal finance expert, and entrepreneur. Jason is the managing partner of Divorce Capital Planning, co-founder of Divorce Mortgage Advisors, and founder of Survive Divorce. A leading authority in divorce finance, Jason has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other media outlets. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner practitioner, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal recommendations from a trusted friend or business associate are a great source for professionals. However, you need to do your homework before hiring anyone. Your team should consist of a divorce lawyer and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) at a minimum. If needed, other members or the team could include a mediator, an accountant, a business or pension valuator, or perhaps a child or individual therapist. Although you may think that the more professionals you hire the more costly your divorce will be, this is not necessarily true. In the long run, having the appropriate help will cut down on litigation costs, and it may save you from making costly blunders regarding your settlement.
There is a lot to be said for having a positive attitude. As painful as divorce can be, it is good to focus on new beginnings. That said, the grief of divorce is a process, and it cannot be hastened by pretending you are not grieving. Whether your marriage had been limping along for years, or something happened to blow up the marriage, grief is still natural. If nothing else, you are likely grieving the dream of the life you hoped for when you got married.
Sometimes people seek marital counseling to put marriages back together after starting a divorce process, and work together on the problems that brought them to that point. If you have vented to only friends, it is very difficult for those very same friends who were furious and hateful on your behalf to then turn around 180 degrees and support your efforts at reconciliation.
That may sound easy enough if you are parting amicably and cooperatively. But remember, this is divorce. Feelings, intentions, and loyalties have changed, and the arrangement, however necessary, is likely to feel awkward.
This mutual respect of space and energy is imperative. You will both be working on your own parts of the divorce process. And you will also need to begin the separation process, both physically and emotionally.
I always find it intriguing that people are quick to ask for help in celebrating their love when they are getting married but fear asking for help from the same people when they are going through a divorce.
You might find you have different people who fulfill different roles, such as someone to vent to, someone to give you a pep talk, and someone who is going to talk to you about anything other than divorce.
A therapist can help you with this. They can help you to understand your relationship with your spouse and what led to your divorce, they can help you to evaluate your past, manage stress and emotions in the present, and help you to see the positive in your future.
This is where the real difference comes in between those who survive a divorce and come out better on the other side, and those who get stuck in the divorce vortex and allow their divorce to be the centre of their lives and part of their identity.
AFSA maintains a resource collection on divorce at www.afsa.org/divorce, as well as a list of attorneys who have worked with Foreign Service families. The list, which includes family law specialists, can be found at www.afsa.org/attorney-list. The October 2014 Foreign Service Journal published an article about managing the child custody issues that frequently crop up in Foreign Service divorces. Additionally, in December 2013 the Journal ran an FS Know-How article about divorce written by two Foreign Service officers who went through the process themselves.
- Emotionally, divorce is not a linear process. Clientstypically go through cycles of grief, denial, sadness and anger.Somedays you will feel good and other days feel bad again. It is aprocess to go through.
If you were born before January 2, 1954 and reach full retirement age, you can elect to receive only the divorced spouse benefits and delay benefits on your own record. This may mean a higher monthly amount for you.
Hi Donna, thanks for using our blog. The 10-year duration of marriage requirement can be met even if the period was interrupted by a prior divorce, provided the remarriage took place no later than the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the divorce. Check out our policy for additional details and an example. We hope this is helpful!
Hi Li, thanks for using our blog. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who died and you are not married, you could get benefits just the same as a widow or widower. For more information, please visit our Surviving Divorced Spouse webpage.
A cradle Catholic and a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in New Freedom, Smith found counsel in her pastor, but longed to connect with people who were experiencing the fear, questions and grief that come with divorce.
Surviving Divorce is one of the faith-based programs that several parishes in the Diocese of Harrisburg offer in ministry to divorced Catholics. It was written and co-produced by Rose Sweet, a Catholic author, speaker and expert on pastoral issues of divorce.
The program features video testimonies from a psychologist and priests, as well as Catholics who have experienced divorce. Topics examine grief, anger, forgiveness, money issues, children, custody, the sacraments, annulments and remarriage.