Protecting What You Value Most

7 lifestyle changes many parents don't expect after divorce

by | Feb 11, 2020 |

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you probably realize your divorce will trigger many changes. You probably expect that you will each have your own house, that your children may end up spending time at both homes and that you may have to give up some of the property you and your spouse acquired during your marriage.

Some changes are obvious. However, some changes end up catching divorcees by surprise.

Some lifestyle changes you may not want to overlook, include:

  • Spending more time alone
  • Taking on the chores your ex used to do
  • Making more parenting decisions alone
  • Changing careers
  • Moving to a smaller home
  • Budgeting more tightly
  • Dating again

Your financial situation will not be the same post-divorce

Several of these changes stem from a change in your financial situation. When you and your spouse divorce, you will be responsible for meeting your household expenses on your own. This can mean that your budget is tighter. It may even be so tight that you need to re-enter the workforce, take on a different job or take on a second job to make ends meet. Career changes can be stressful initially, but they can also be exciting, and it can feel empowering to take on new responsibilities.

A tight budget could also mean that selling the marital home makes more sense than keeping it. A smaller home or a home in a different neighborhood may be more affordable in your situation. Selling a home you love can be disappointing, but it may not be all bad. A new home can feel like a fresh start, and if it is smaller, it may be easier to keep clean.

You will need to be self-reliant

Many of the other lifestyle changes stem from the void you may experience after your spouse is gone. Logically, you expect that your spouse will be out of the picture, but until that time, it can be hard to get a feel for exactly what you might end up missing.

You are probably used to that person’s company, even if you don’t get along. However, you may also see your children less after divorce because they will be spending time with their other parent. You will likely spend a lot more time alone than you do now. However, your newfound free time can allow you to explore new hobbies and nurture other relationships.

You probably are also used to the way your family delegates tasks, but after divorce, your spouse will no longer be there to manage their half of the responsibilities. Taking on new chores and making all the parenting decisions along can be overwhelming initially, but over time you will develop the skills and confidence needed to manage them on your own. While no one wants to take on more chores, it can be an opportunity to learn and grow.

There is no way to predict all the changes you may go through, but you can learn from other people’s experiences. When you consider some of the changes that could occur, you allow yourself the opportunity to prepare the best reactions you can so that you are better able to overcome any potential obstacles.