Divorce is never easy and always fraught with complex emotions and upheaval, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for most people. It’s certainly a rollercoaster, but many women manage to not only survive the process but to thrive and rebuild themselves as stronger people. There will be challenging times and you will need the support of friends, family, and professionals throughout, but your new life is only just beginning. If you’re coming out the other side of a divorce and are trying to look to a more positive future, here are some of the key practical aspects you need to consider.
- Finalizing the divorce settlement
During the divorce process, you and your ex-spouse will need to come to a settlement on several practical aspects. It’s important that you don’t rush through these decisions, even if you’re desperate to get on with your new life, as they will provide the foundations for much of your future stability. Divorce financial settlements will set out if/how you will be dividing property, savings, debts, pensions, investments and any other assets. If you have children you will also need to agree where they will live, how much time they will spend with each parent and how you and your ex-spouse will be supporting them financially.
- Deciding where to live
While often the ideal scenario would be to stay in the family home, this may not always be possible if the property needs to be sold or you cannot afford the rent without your ex’s income. You may, therefore, need to consider renting a new property either privately or through public housing if you’re on a low income. Depending on the financial settlement, you may have enough money for a down payment on your own property if you can afford the mortgage repayments.
- Budgeting for the future
If you have been sharing living expenses with your ex for a long time you may find it difficult to stretch your income at first. Take some time to go through your monthly income and expenditure to identify any areas where you can cut costs. If you have children and they are living with you primarily, your ex should be contributing to their care financially, and ideally, this will have been agreed in the financial settlement.
- Think about your career
If you have been out of the world of work or working part-time you may need to consider finding a full-time career now. You could use this fork in the road as an opportunity to change your career path or to make a long-held ambition a reality. Talk to a careers adviser about the skills and training you will need to pursue your chosen career. You may need to get a job to pay the bills while you are studying or getting the experience you need, but it will be worth it in the long run if you become financially independent. If you have been in full-time work for some time but your wages are not going to cover your living expenses, you should investigate finding a better paid job or possibly taking on additional work in the evenings and weekends to earn extra money.