10 Steps to Start Your Life After Divorce

Many experts say that it takes roughly two years to feel “normal” again after a divorce. The dust has settled by then, and you’re finally getting comfortable in your new life. What that life looks like is different for everyone, but there are some key steps you can take to stay on track and start living your best post-divorce life ever. Here are 10 steps to start your life after divorce.

1. Allow yourself to grieve

Divorce is like a death, except the person you’re mourning is still living. It’s important to let yourself feel those feelings in order to fully heal and move on. Sometimes, it’s not even the person you’re mourning, but the routine you had with them. Time really does help with grieving this loss.

2. Get your thoughts out

Keeping things bottled up inside will only keep you stuck in that place of grief for a longer period of time. In order to heal, you need to talk about things. If you don’t feel comfortable expressing your feelings out loud, consider journaling your thoughts. Journaling also gives you something tangible to look back on once you’ve healed. You can see how far you’ve come and be proud of all the hard work you put into getting there.

3. Surround yourself with a supportive community

Community in divorce is crucial, especially at the beginning when you need encouragement the most. Surrounding yourself with those who are positive and uplifting is ideal, but so is talking to those who have been through a divorce and survived. Hearing their stories, and how they learned to cope, will create a roadmap for you with your own healing.

4. Ask for help when you need it

Divorce is hard, and not only is it okay- it’s necessary to ask for help when you need it. Lean on your friends and family during this time. Whether it’s asking your parents to babysit the kids so you can have a break, requesting some time off from work for a mental health day, or even gathering your friends together for a much-needed coffee date, speak up and let your loved ones know what you need. Also, don’t be afraid to seek professional help in the form of a therapist or divorce coach. They are there for a reason, and that’s to make this time a little easier for you.

5. Identify who you are

Going through a divorce can leave you seriously questioning your identity. You went from being married and devoting your life to someone, to suddenly being on your own and having all the freedom in the world. That can feel both invigorating and overwhelming. Discovering who you truly are during this time starts with identifying your strengths and attributes. What are the things you truly value about yourself? Include those in your new identity. Let your divorce define you in a positive way, not a negative way.

6. Meet new people

One of the best ways to get unstuck after your divorce is to bring new energy into your life. This starts with meeting new people, whether it be friends or romantic partners. You’re now building a life for you, so surround yourself with the people who uplift you and bring fun into your life. If you’re sharing custody with your ex, you’ll also have more free time to hang out with your new social circle- another positive of divorce!

7. Find out what makes you tick

The second half of your life begins after your divorce. It’s a total renewal of your mind, body, and soul. This is your chance to find out what really makes you happy- what makes you tick! There may have been things you put up with to make your ex happy during your marriage, but you don’t have to do that anymore. Participate in hobbies you enjoy. Eat the foods you want. Hang out with the people who bring out the best in you. Travel. Listen to your favorite music. Learn a new language. The possibilities are endless!

8. Take your time with dating

The loneliness after a divorce can have you making some questionable decisions when it comes to romance. It’s okay to experiment and have fun once your heart is healed, but take it slow! Find out who you are and the things you want out of a relationship first, before you get into something serious again. There’s no need to rush- focus on you, and the right person will come along when you’re ready.

9. Get your finances in order

A divorce can leave your finances less than secure. In addition to legal fees, you have lost a second income, which can be a huge financial blow. Consulting with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) during your divorce process can help you make the best decisions when it comes to a fair settlement. This is the first step towards helping you achieve your post-divorce financial goals.

10. Celebrate your new life

It may not seem like there’s anything to celebrate when you’re first going through a divorce, but with time, you will start to see the positives. If your marriage was toxic, it will feel like a weight was lifted off of you. If your kids were witnessing a lot of arguing, they will feel happier and more secure. There will be new people, new experiences, new joy in your life. All of this is something to be celebrated.

Your life after divorce starts with one step. While the first step is always the hardest, as you begin putting one foot in front of the other, each step gets a little easier. Before you know it, the pain and anguish you’re experiencing right now will be a memory. You’ll have learned to embrace your new life, and it will be beautiful.

More Split.fyi Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Split.fyi Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our  Split.fyi Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

Split.fyi Resources
Split.fyi Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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