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Avoid these post-divorce missteps

During times of great personal change, it can be tempting to give into one's impulses. Throwing caution to the wind does not seem nearly so reckless when one's world has been turned upside-down anyway. However, there are reasons to be cautious in certain areas of life after deciding to divorce.

Some significant changes may be positive in the wake of a decision to divorce. Perhaps you have always wanted to move to a certain location, pursue a job at a specific company, take up a new hobby or buy a little bungalow on the beach. These dramatic changes could do you a world of good. However, there are other impulsive actions you may do best to avoid as you work towards building a healthy life on your own. 


First, it is generally a poor idea to change your physical appearance in radical ways. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time to chop off 14 inches of your hair, dye it blue, get a tattoo, pierce your nose and throw out your entire wardrobe, you may discover in a few days, weeks or months that you don't recognize yourself or remember why you made such a radical change. Most people come down from the more impulsive "stage" of post-divorce life to a place where they crave comfort, stability and familiarity. Giving into an impulse now may rob you of what you need most later on.

Second, it is important to avoid smearing your former spouse on social media or otherwise leaving any sort of electronic or physical "trail" of evidence that could lead a judge to cast doubt on your divorce settlement and/or child custody case. Your former spouse's attorney may choose to use phone messages, emails and social media as evidence against you in court. Before you hit "send" on a text, call, email or post on social media, think twice.

Finally, do not approach your post-married life without the support you need. Attorneys, counselors, support groups, loved ones, financial planners and a host of other support systems are available to aid you as you transition into your new life. The weight of all this change may be too much to carry on your own, but will hopefully be more manageable when others lend their support. 

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