A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Life after Divorce

a wooden sign post with the words new life on it, signifying the benefits of clean break orders during a divorce

Have you recently got divorced? You’re probably feeling a whole host of emotions — sadness, confusion, maybe even a tinge of relief — but you don’t have to feel lost and wonder what’s next. We look at life after divorce and what you can expect as you begin the next chapter of your life.

Getting a divorce is probably one of the most challenging and stressful experiences you’ll ever go through. From the messy lead-up to the divorce, where you watch as your marriage gradually breaks down, to the sometimes costly and time-consuming process of actually getting the divorce, and adjusting to life as a divorcee, it’s no surprise that it’s a difficult time. The future can look sad and bleak, especially considering that, at one point, you probably envisioned growing old with your then significant other. But life does go on. Getting a divorce can be a time of huge transformation and give you the much-needed “me-time” to let go of the past and focus on a more positive future. In this post, we’ll show you exactly what you can expect from life after divorce.

Looking after Yourself

Arranging how you and your ex will look after your children, splitting your belongings and dividing joint assets aside, the biggest impact of divorce on those dealing with it is emotional. It’s crucial to look after yourself.

Accept the Emotions

While we all hear how “as one door closes, another opens”, that doesn’t offer a huge amount of comfort on a lonely night. The end of a relationship involves a grieving process before you can begin to heal. Life after divorce is an emotional rollercoaster. On some days, you’ll feel happy — you’ll laugh for what feels like the first time in a long time. If you live in what was the marital home, some days you might be overcome with grief, with every item in the house holding a memory and serving as a painful reminder. This is a completely normal and justified reaction to a divorce. Instead of fighting the emotions, realise that it’s okay to feel, even if it hurts. Eventually, the bad days will become less frequent and you’ll find yourself smiling more often than not.

Do Things You Enjoy

Life after divorce means having a lot of time to do the things that you want to do. You’ll no longer have to run decisions past your partner or suffer through the things you really hated but did as part of a compromise to keep your partner happy. Want to stay in and watch that TV series your other half couldn’t stand? You can do that. Want to order a takeaway? You get to choose. It’s the little things that can have the biggest impact. Make the time to do things that relax you, whether that’s reading a book, running a long bath, gardening or going for a run. Try and enjoy your new independence — your space is entirely yours again, meaning you can eat when you want, travel when you want and go out when, and with whoever, you want.

Take Care of Your Health

We already know that divorce can be stressful. This can have far-reaching effects not just on your mental health, but your physical health too. A spouse isn’t the only thing a lot of divorcees find themselves losing: upward of 70% experiencing a divorce or breakup end up losing a significant amount of weight. While eating may be the last thing on your mind following a divorce, try and maintain a healthy routine. Exercising releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, literally making you feel better, and can relieve stress. You could even use your extra time to yourself to start a new hobby — start experimenting in the kitchen or take the cooking lessons you’ve always wanted to — you’ll be able to create delicious meals from scratch and you may discover a new passion.

Realise That Life after Divorce Will Not Be like This Forever

It’s easy to think, especially just after a divorce, that things will never be the same again. And the truth is, they won’t. But they have the potential to be so much better. When you’ve spent so long in a relationship, it’s easy to lose your own sense of independence, often without realising it. Being on your own again can be terrifying, but it’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover who you are. It’s not fun, but knowing you can and will get through it is the first — and hardest — step.

Are you considering getting a divorce? Life after divorce doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Our specialist team of top divorce solicitors can support you through the entire process, making your divorce as pain and hassle-free as possible, leaving you to move on from the past and create a fresh start. Get in touch for your free consultation.

Clayton spent five years working in family law with a firm in Australia before moving to the UK in 1999. He deals with all aspects of family law, specialising in all family matters, offshore trusts, company structures, international law, prenuptial agreements, high net worth cases and cohabitation law.