After a divorce, you may be facing a different set of circumstances than you previously did. You may not be used to coming home to an empty home or cooking for just yourself. You may have children who once filled your home with laughter, and now, where you live may be empty.
From an emotional perspective, this can be devastating. You may look to change those circumstance by contacting your family law attorney and adjusting your divorce decree, in order to achieve a more favorable child custody arrangement.
However, from a financial perspective, the changes in your living situation reflect the financial losses of the divorce process. Because half of the assets were divided, it causes the standard of living of you and your ex-spouse to decrease, in theory.
Affecting your life
Your new financial situation affects many parts of your life, and your living arrangement merely is one of many. You may have been forced to downgrade the car that you drive. You may have been forced to refinance a mortgage or a debt that you were making up in installment payments.
You may no longer go out to eat as often as you used to, and you may have had to ask for a friend’s Netflix password, instead of using your former account. These are real changes that many have had to make after their divorce was finalized, but just because others have had to make them, it does not mean they will be easy for you.
Changing one’s lifestyle, in order to fit your new financial circumstances, can cause a bit of an identity crisis and leave you with a lot of questions. After all of this change, who am I? When will I be able to afford to go out to dinner or grab a drink? Will I ever be able to afford being myself again?
Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be in better shape than others who are fresh from the divorce process. Many have misconceptions about how wealth can be a defining factor in who they are and what they are able to accomplish in life.
While money can open doors and allot opportunities that many are unable to acquire, it has never been, nor will it ever be the defining character trait of an individual. You still can be yourself, even without the level of financial security you may have had during your marriage.
You may not be able to afford certain luxuries for a while, but that does not mean that you stop being you. Saving money and budgeting your spending is not impeding you from your identity. You still may have people in your life who are able to be there for you emotionally.
Treating yourself with dignity
Even if the change in your financial situation after a divorce does not actually change who you are as a person, your feelings regarding this issue are justified and should be treated with respect and dignity. After a divorce, there are a lot of moving parts in your life, and relying on an aspect of your married life, such as your financial stability, is understandable.
If you know anyone who went through the divorce process, you may rely on their input for emotional support during this difficult time. You also may find yourself seeking outside help from a mental health professional or a support service, equipped to help you navigate the identity crises that you may be experiencing.
Needing a hand and remaining you
You may need a hand financially, which can be a tough hurtle for your pride. You may never have asked for financial assistance before, or you may have grown up in a specific way where the idea of asking for financial assistance was not something that was seen as acceptable.
Whatever the case may be, it may be an inevitable reality in your life. Many who pay alimony or child support, especially men, find themselves facing the prospect of jail time if they do not pay, and while the idea of asking for money may seem difficult to stomach, it is preferable to jail.
One day, you may be able to save money again. You may have to change the way you think about the passage of time and how it affects your saving and spending habits, in order to accomplish that goal. One day, you may be able to financially recover fully from the losses you sustained during your divorce. You may not, but either way, you still will be able to hold onto who you are, regardless of what is or is not in your pockets.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.