Divorce is never easy, and it’s easy for a woman to make poor decisions after a divorce. Whether its emotional, physical or financial issues, there are a lot of issues and feelings to sort through after a divorce, and it’s not surprising that along the way many women make a few missteps. But since this is a road many women have traveled before, it might be worth it to review what some of them have to say about what they did after a divorce, and what they wish they had not done.
1. Do not borrow any money after a divorce
Divorce is very expensive, and unless you are wealthy, immediately following a divorce you are probably paying high legal bills and spending extra income to reestablish your home. Financial experts recommend waiting to make any discretionary purchases until you are a bit more settled and your debts have been paid.
2. Don’t agree to a settlement too early
Now that uncontested divorces are all the rage you may be tempted to give in too early to avoid a fight. While uncontested divorces are perfect for spouses who agree on all the major divorce issues, it is important to understand the true cost of living on your own and how much money it will take to rear your children before you agree to a settlement. Review your finances and hire a financial consultant if necessary. Make sure you know your assets, debts, income and expenses before agreeing to any type of deal.
3. Don’t refuse to see a counselor after a divorce
Too many people refuse to get help when they need it after a divorce. Divorce can cause a range of emotions to surface, many unexpected. Why not talk to a professional who has helped dozens of other women just like you? Therapists can also help you develop strategies for becoming self-sufficient, to talk to your children, and help you remain in control of your emotions.
4. Don’t Take It Out On the Kids
If you have children, divorce may be one of the most devastating things they will ever experience. Parents don’t like to think about it, but it’s true. I remember at work one day a co-worker saying he couldn’t wait for his kids to “get over” his divorce- this from a man who impregnated another co-worker and abandoned his family. The truth is, one which I wish I had the guts to tell him, was that his kids would never “get over” his leaving them and their mother for another woman. I am sure there is more to the story, and the kids will probably go on to live their own lives and be perfectly well-adjusted, but they will never forget what their dad did to their family.
So if you have decided divorce is the only option for you, don’t take it out on the kids and don’t minimize their feelings or ignore the support they might need to deal with the divorce. After the divorce is the time to refocus your energy on them. Be there for them. Help them with their homework, attend their activities and start to restructure their life in a positive, dependable way.
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