It’s done. Papers have been signed, custody has been decided, marital property has been divided or sold, and all of the other steps required to end a marriage are complete. You are officially divorced. This means it’s over, right? Yes and no; the marriage is over for sure, but there are still steps to be taken to rebuilt a new life for yourself.
Depending on your situation, you may need to communicate with your ex even when the divorce is final. You’ll also need to figure out where you stand with mutual friends. Then, there’s the issue of child support, visitation, and decisions related to the children. Don’t forget that you’ll also have to learn to manage your finances as a single person.
Life in the year or so after your divorce has been finalized can be messy, intense, emotional, and rife with conflict. You’ll probably deal with emotions ranging from relief to anger. There are also good things. You have a new life to look forward to, and an opportunity to use the change divorce brings to put your life on a better course.
Here are a few post-divorce survival tips that you can use to make this happen.
1. Safe Communication:
Even if your split was amicable, emotions can run high and resentments can occasionally impact your interactions with your ex. If the divorce wasn’t amicable, things can be downright ugly. First and foremost, if any communication is threatening, contact your attorney and the authorities. You are not obligated to communicate directly with anybody who makes you feel unsafe. Otherwise, here are a few tips for communicating with your ex:
- Resist the temptation to engage in conflicts, especially on social media. Let subtle digs and insults roll off your back.
- If your ex tends to go back on statements or deny he has said something, it is advisable to insist that all communications be in writing
- Save all communications involving children and finances
- Be polite even when your ex is not
2. How To Survive On Your Own Fiancially:
First, don’t be afraid to remain without money temporarily if your ex is using finances to try to control you or manipulate you back into a relationship. You can contact social service agencies and local food banks to obtain temporary help. These organizations can also help you pursue child support if that is being withheld.
If you have not done so, get bank accounts in your own name and arrange for any bills and direct deposits to be taken care of. If there are payments that you need to make on any joint debts, do so promptly, and save receipts. If your ex handled financial matters in your home, you may wish to take a personal finance course or ask your banker for some tips and advice.
3. Who Gets Custody Of The Friends:
Sadly, divorce can have a negative impact on friends. By the time your divorce was finalized, you may have lost a few friends altogether. Now, you may have some friends who feel awkward. They may wonder if you will want their friendship if they are also friends with your ex. Other friends may feel the need to keep you abreast of your exes activities. Reassure your friends that they can be friends with your ex, if you are okay with that. If not, you’ll need to make that known as well. Don’t be afraid to make it clear that you do not want to hear about your exes current life, and avoid gossiping about him to your mutual friends as well.
4. For The Sake Of Your Children:
There are certain things that should go without saying but here they are. Don’t bad mouth the ex in front of your children. Don’t press your children for information about your ex’s house, dating habits, etc… Don’t phone constantly during visitation time. Don’t cause unnecessary conflicts during pick-up and drop-off times. Having said that, you have every right to protect your relationship with your children, and you have every right to receive child support that is owed to you. If your ex refuses to pay, please get legal help. If custody changes become confrontational because of your ex’s behavior, ask the court to arrange a public location for exchanges.
5. Getting Back Out There:
When it comes to dating after divorce, there are no set rules. If you are ready, don’t feel guilty about dating. If you are not, don’t let others pressure you. As long as you take steps to remain physically and emotionally safe, that is all that matters.
More from DivorcedMoms:
- 5 Tips For Handling Divorce Stress Gracefully
- Self-Reflection: How To Become Unstuck From Divorce Pain
- Divorce Depression? 6 Cliches You Don’t Want to Hear