Divorce, even when dealt with amicably, and when both parties are certain that it’s the right decision and keen to move on with respect and care, is always difficult. There are big decisions to make regarding the custody of children and pets, and perhaps the sale of a property. If parties don’t agree it can be a long, difficult, and expensive process. But most of us think that we know what to expect. We’re prepared for long discussions about finances and children, and we’ve researched our rights moving forward.
There are, however, several elements of divorce and ramifications of separation that few of us consider, and many are surprised by. Here’s a look at four of them.
Friends and Family
You may be prepared to lose some friendships or to find that some people slip out of your circle. Even if your friends claim not to take sides, some are bound to gravitate to one person over the other, especially if they were friends before the marriage, or are related to your ex-partner.
But you might not be prepared for some relationships to flourish. They’ll be people that you grow closer to, new friendships will form, and the relationships that you build with both your ex and their family might grow to be important in a new way.
We think about the big financial implications of divorce, but what about tax? Did you know that you don’t go back to filing as a single person just because you are separated? Even if you have sold property and have no other financial links, you’ll file as a couple until your divorce is finalized. In some cases, taxation can get complicated during, and after a divorce, so get help with property and tax credits to protect yourself.
Time to Yourself
Many newly divorced people are surprised and sometimes troubled to find that they suddenly have so much more free time. Who knew that marriage was so time-consuming? It can be tempting to fill your time completely, so as not to feel lost.But it’s ok to grieve and to take some time to learn more about your interests as a single person, experimenting with new hobbies before committing to anything.
Studies show that middle-aged men and women who have been through a divorce are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than married people of the same age and background, with women even more likely than men.
There’s no one clear reason for this, and it’s typically caused by several factors. You may find that eating healthily becomes harder without the routine of family mealtimes. You might do less exercise if your ex has the kids at the weekends are you are no longer trekking around parks or enjoying long family bike rides. Of course, in the immediate aftermath of separation, your sleep patterns and mental health can suffer.
Be aware of the risks to your health and any negative effects on your routine. Try to negate them by developing new, healthy habits as soon as you feel able, and any health effects of your divorce should be short-lived.
Divorce is a big deal. Take your time to grieve for your relationship and the life that you had. Be prepared for ups and downs, and some steep learning curves, and you’ll soon find ways to move forward.