Divorce can be overwhelming. Picking up the pieces and rebuilding can feel absolutely daunting. It’s hard to know where to start and which way to proceed with putting together your new life. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
We’ve created a list of steps to help get you started. Some steps are legal, but there are many non-legal steps you can take to improve your well being and mental health.
1. Copy and Store the Divorce Judgment
You will need a certified copy of your divorce judgment to change your name. Make sure you keep a copy of it in a fire safe box for future records. Before storing a hard copy, scan and upload a digital copy to your computer and the cloud.
2. Change Your Name
If you changed your name when you got married, you may want to change it back. You’ll need to visit the social security office and the DMV. Find out more about changing your name here.
3. Update Your Passport (And take a trip!)
Once you have changed your name, update your passport (or get one for the first time!). While you’re at it, you should plan a trip. If money is a concern, low-cost, all-inclusive resorts or cruises offer fun vacation packages at any price point. Even if it isn’t out of the country, plan a weekend get-away to somewhere nearby to gain some much-needed rest and a change of scenery.
4. Change Your Will: Odds are you have your ex-spouse listed as the executor and/or the beneficiary of your estate. When you get divorced, you should have your will and related documents changed.
5. Change Your Passwords:
If you have not done it already, make sure to change all online passwords and device passwords.
6. Create a Financial Plan:
Divorce is punishing to the wallet. If you were already in debt before the divorce, paying your attorney along with other expenses like alimony and child support haven’t helped. You probably feel like you are drowning – constantly in emergency management mode while trying to figure out how to pay for everything. Create a plan to find financial freedom and take back control of your life. Dave Ramsey has a proven system for creating wealth and we highly recommend checking him out.
7. Get a Good Therapist:
Therapy is there for anyone and everyone who wants to feel better, identify negative patterns and create lasting positive change in their lives. In our observation, those who go to therapy during divorce are much better off emotionally and mentally than those who do not.
During any stressful time, it’s important to have a good support system. Strengthening old or creating new meaningful relationships is important during this time of your life. Focus on quality not quantity. Take the opportunity to join a club or other organization, either out in the real world or online. There are plenty of ways to connect with other human beings so you don’t feel like you’re all alone.
9. Be Alone:
Speaking of being alone, it’s important to take time to be by yourself. After a divorce, you may be afraid to be by yourself due to the unhappiness you feel. It’s important to overcome those feelings to find love, peace and joy within. Take time to find out who you are at this time and in this space. Try your hand at journaling or a solitary creative pursuit and see what you find!
10. Practice Gratitude:
When things get tough, it’s easy to get stuck on the pity wagon and forget the blessings we have. Practicing gratitude shifts our perspective. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Challenge yourself to think of 20 things you are grateful for every morning and every night for a week. Whenever you realize you are beginning to pity yourself again, think on that list. Remind yourself of the good things in your life. Your list will likely grow the more days you practice gratitude and you’ll be in a much better mood.
11. Practice Forgiveness:
Forgiveness can be difficult. But when you reach the point where you can forgive, your heart will be lightened and you will have greater joy in your life. Forgiving both yourself and your spouse are big steps in the healing process. To find out more about the importance of forgiveness and how to forgive, click here.
12. Create a Personal Mantra (And Update It Yearly):
A personal mantra can help set your intention and focus. Updating it yearly gives you a chance to create an overarching theme for that year in your life. In the past, when times were tough, I’ve used “this too shall pass.” To invoke hope, I’ve used “the best is yet to come.” This year, it’s “make every day count.” Over the years, your mantras will build up so that you have a whole arsenal of words to live by when you need them.
We take pride in not only assisting clients with the legal aspect of divorce, but finding additional services for clients dealing with the aftermath. If you need assistance with finding providers of non-legal services we’ll be glad to assist.
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