Happy New Year, happy new you! If you’ve been through the turmoil of divorce over the past year, the New Year can be a marker point that can help you review your situation and make some changes for the better. It’s a time when you decide to move forward and embrace the next part of your life, celebrate your newly single status, or just make sure that you’re in a strong position to tackle the challenges of the coming year head-on. To help you do that, we’ve got five tips for a happy New Year after a divorce.
New divorcees sometimes set unreasonable goals and targets for themselves without taking care of
the basics first. Our number one top tip is to get your finances in order. Divorce and financial remedy proceedings can take quite a toll on your bank account, with the average divorce and financial remedy matters costing anything up to £14,000. Even an uncontested divorce can cost you upwards of £1,500. If you’re planning a fresh start, begin on the right track and make sure your finances are in order. If you’re transitioning from a joint income to a single income, you may need to rein in the spending for a little while until things are more stable.
After the stresses and strains of the holiday period, take a little ‘you’ time to get a new routine sorted out. It can be hard to make the shift from being part of a couple to being single again, and you’ll need the time to work out your daily routine. If you have sole residence of the children then they’ll also need time to adapt to a new routine without the other parent around. Remember to factor in contact arrangements and make sure that your ex-partner sticks to them as well. Giving children, especially young children, a stable daily or weekly schedule is vitally important for their well-being.
It can be tempting to hide away for a while to get over the trauma of a divorce. But try to avoid too much alone-time. Reconnect with family and friends, who may be feeling awkward about being seen to ‘take sides’, especially if they’re friends with both parties. Tell them it’s okay and you understand that they might be finding it difficult to deal with the divorce.
Whatever you do, try to avoid spending New Year’s Eve alone, and try to welcome in the New Year surrounded by those you feel closest to. Being alone at this fragile time may trigger a flood of emotions, so pick your company wisely, and choose those who know of your situation and can provide you with the support you need right now. If being surrounded by happy couples is too much to deal with, then keep the celebration small and restricted to those whom you trust the most.
Divorce is difficult for children at any time of the year, but the holiday season can be particularly challenging, especially for children spending their first Christmas in a single-parent household. Make sure you put time aside to have a quiet time with your kids when you can encourage them to open up about their feelings and offer them the reassurance that they need.
The New Year is a perfect turning point where you can start to let go of the anger, hurt and bitterness of a divorce. While you may not be able to ‘forgive and forget’ just yet, the New Year is the time when you can start taking small steps forward. Being civil to your ex-partner isn’t just important for both of your mental well-being, but that of your children too. This is the time when you can choose the path your future takes, and make the coming year a happy and healthy one.
While all of these points are designed to make you feel more positive about your position, we do understand that not everyone will be lucky enough to greet the New Year in such a proactive frame of mind. If you need help with complex issues such as child arrangements or financial ‘disentanglement’ from a former spouse, talk to a family law expert and get the advice and support you need this year, rather than leaving it until next year!
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