Around half of all marriages in America end in divorce. This is also true for most other developing countries around the world. If you're part of this statistic and finding it hard to move on, or have just started divorce proceedings, here is some advice on how to look after yourself and take care of your finances to come out on the other side in one piece.
Taking care of your emotional needs
No matter how strong of a person you are, divorce will take an emotional toll on you. That's why you have to set up a support network. This could be friends, other divorcees in your wider social circle, an official support group or a therapist. You might find that you need to tap into all three at different times, for advice or a comforting word for specific issues you're experiencing.
You'll also want to take up a new hobby, dust off an old one or get out in nature for a run or cycle. They're all great ways to distract yourself from your current situation, even if it's only for an hour or two at a time. You'll clear your head and get back to the issue at hand with your emotions in a much healthier space.
The above could also work well for making new friends. If you and your ex-spouse shared friends, it might be difficult at first to spend time with them. You might even find it impossible to enjoy their company ever again. Either way, new faces means you won't have to talk about your divorce and you won't be reminded of it.
Landing on your feet financially
Apart from the emotional side of things, a brand-new financial situation is arguably the biggest change to get used to during and following a divorce. Suddenly, you're a single-income household! It becomes an even bigger predicament if you were not the breadwinner in the family and are now suddenly finding yourself having to fill that role.
The most important thing you should remember is to put off all major money decisions, like buying or selling a house, until the divorce procedures are taken care of. It's only after the fact that you'll get a real idea of your financial situation.
Something that will rear its ugly head pretty soon if it's around, is debt. If it happens to you, simplify your lifestyle until you have a handle on things. That could mean cancelling satellite television, cutting up retail account cards or cooking at home more than eating out. If you have multiple debtors knocking on your door, consider taking out a consolidation loan. This type of loan enables you to consolidate several outstanding debts into a single loan. You might find that your monthly payments will be reduced or that you can arrange for a longer period of time to repay your debts. Both of these will make a significant difference at the end of the month.
If you are now the sole wage earner in your home and you haven't been in the workforce for a while, or you've let your career lag in favour of your family, it's time to take action. Spruce up your CV, make appointments with recruiters and speak to any contacts you might have. Consider re-training to get yourself up to speed with what's happening in your industry or doing new courses if you're currently in a job and would like to increase your chances of getting a promotion.
Through it all, remember to make time for yourself; especially if you children. You'll need the quiet time to reflect on this particular stage of your life, and to get used to your own company.
Terrence is a long-time writer and reader, and loves sharing advice on issues that affect ordinary people.