Moving On Checklist: Steps to Consider after Divorce
From Finances to Romance, Seven Tips to Think About in Your New Life
Maybe you’re still single, but you’re forging a new path with your finances, career and some travel thrown in for fun. Or you want to get back in the game,you’re your hand at online dating and find that special someone. Or Maybe you’ve already found a new partner and are considering remarriage, but have questions about your soon-to-be stepchildren. As you recover from the legal, financial and emotional aspects of your divorce, here are some things to consider for your future.
1. TAKE TIME TO GET INTO ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP.
Particularly if you have had trust issues with your ex-spouse, taking your time before jumping into a new “committed” relationship is a good idea. Some experts suggest introducing your new date to friends and family to check out the “fit.” Some suggest waiting a period of time before committing to a physical relationship. Whatever you decide, trust your gut instincts on the person’s trustworthiness before moving forward with a more permanent relationship.
2. BE CAREFUL ONLINE.
It’s commonplace to meet dates online. In fact, some experts consider it much easier than past singles venues. If you decide to go the online route, make certain you are cautious at first with details about your life, meet your potential dates in high-traffic areas for coffee or lunch before inviting someone into your home. While many people do find their soulmates online, it’s still good to be careful as you introduce new people into your life.
3. CONSIDER THERAPY BEFORE REMARRIAGE.
Statistics show that many second marriages end in divorce as well. So as you prepare before your wedding, make certain you understand the commitment you are making. A marriage therapist can help you and your new partner make the most of your relationship by helping you unload your baggage from the past with new communication or relationship techniques to help make this time around better for both of you. If you cannot afford a marriage counselor, some government agencies offer low-cost alternatives. And some churches often have their own version of religious pre-marital counseling, which can help.
4. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO WITH CHILDREN.
If your new spouse has children and so do you, having his and hers in the house, with the potential of an ours someday, can be chaotic and make for a difficult adjustment period. “The Brady Bunch” is just a TV show. No matter whose they are, children are a life-time responsibility. And stepparenting in the real world requires communication, patience, and love. Consider research on stepparenting, support groups or other ways to connect with your new family.
If you’re both spenders, you may want to discuss this and get some financial counseling and set some rules for the relationship before you move in together. If this was a problem in your previous relationship, don’t let it be a problem again. It may not sound romantic, but it’s realistic. Putting together a financial budget, making certain you can support your lifestyle together and figuring out who commits what to its financial health will give you both peace of mind as you move into your future together.
6. CONSIDER A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT.
If you didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement in your previous relationship, perhaps this time you’ll think about this financial option. This is particularly important if you have accumulated financial assets, a home, business, 401K or other investments, before your marriage. This protects both of you, should the relationship ever founder. You can find legal paperwork on the Internet, but an attorney is a better alternative if you have the money to obtain one.
7. KNOW — AND UNDERSTAND — ANY PRIOR FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS.
Does your potential spouse pay child support or alimony or have to keep an insurance policy or arrange travel for children on the holidays or during the summer as part of a court-ordered decree? While you are not legally responsible for any of this if you marry, you are responsible for your own financial and mental wellbeing. Stress can accompany debt. And if he or she is already financially committed by the courts, you should consider whether long-term this is a relationship that you can live with, given you will likely carry the financial load if you marry, and if you decide to have children.
The tips for this list were culled from experts and articles on Wevorce.com. If you have suggestions for tips to add to this list, please e-mail us at editors@Wevorce.com