Going through a divorce can be difficult and it may be hard to see the correct path ahead. Of course, the help and support of family and friends, as well as good legal advice from divorce lawyers in London or your local area, can go a long way towards easing the journey. Soon, the time will come when you will receive your decree nisi and, ultimately, your decree absolute. The decree absolute is what dissolves the marriage and frees both parties to marry again should they wish to do so. It also marks the stage where many people no longer require the services of their family law solicitors and must think about moving forwards. This can be trickier than anticipated. Although some people mark their decree absolute with a divorce party, for others it can feel rather anticlimactic or upsetting. Some people also have ongoing concerns about how they will deal with their new life. In order to ensure that you greet your decree absolute with positivity for the future, below are a few things to think about before your divorce is finalised.
Conclude Any Legal Concerns
Issues relating to children, including residence, maintenance and contact, should all be arranged before the divorce is finalised. However, don’t be afraid to take any concerns or questions you may have to your divorce solicitors in London or elsewhere. It is also worth remembering that arrangements can be renegotiated in the future, although court orders can only be changed if you are prepared to go back to court. In this case, your solicitors will be able to advise you further. If you are a father concerned about future access to your children, you may wish to seek out specific men’s divorce lawyers who are experienced in these matters.
Look After Your Mental Health
It’s often easy to become introspective or depressed following a divorce. This is particularly likely if the split has been challenging or is unwanted. Questioning your self-worth is not an uncommon reaction, but try to remember that divorce can be a fairly difficult process for many. You need to look after yourself in terms of both your physical and your mental health. It may help to talk to sympathetic friends, family or even a counsellor. The key to moving on after a divorce is to focus on your own well-being. Often, the simple things in life can make a big difference to mood: fresh air and exercise, for example, can have a very beneficial effect on mental health.
Look After Your Physical Health
Again, exercise is crucial, as is eating well and ensuring that you have any recommended medical check-ups and tests. The aftermath of a divorce is a common time to turn over a new leaf and start a healthy eating plan or diet. Provided you do so sensibly, these can be very positive reactions to divorce.
Think About Where You Live
Perhaps you’ve moved house as a result of the divorce. This can be a great opportunity to begin again in a new place. However, if you’re still in the same home, you might like to consider redecorating as it can help you to feel that you’ve made a fresh start. If redecorating is not a possibility, perhaps you could move your furniture around or plant something new in the garden.
Jobs and Careers
For many people, a divorce signifies a watershed moment in their working lives. It may be necessary to return to the workforce after a long time out or to look for more hours or a higher-paying position. There is an increasing amount of support available, such as women’s networking schemes, which are aimed at assisting workplace returns. Now is also a good time to consider your long-term career. For example, are there any areas in which you would like to retrain? Would additional qualifications help? Local further education colleges can be invaluable sources of assistance. If financially viable, you may also wish to consider voluntary work – for altruistic reasons, to meet new people or as a way of easing your way back into paid employment.
Pensions and Other Financial Planning
A divorce can often set back even the best-laid financial plans. It can also highlight existing gaps. Perhaps you have already sought specific advice from a financial adviser but, if you haven’t, now might be a good time to do so. A new plan for your future financial needs might include helping children with university costs or house deposits. It should almost certainly include pension provision for yourself. As a start, you should find out your current state pension prediction. This takes into account whether or not you ever opted out of the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS); if you did, your private pension will be expected to fill the gap. If you have a private pension, make sure you look carefully at its projected future value. There are several mechanisms, easily accessible online, for calculating your eventual pension entitlement and also for working out how much extra you need to save in order to have a retirement income of a particular amount. If you don’t have a pension, or don’t have enough money in your existing pension pot, consider how you might plug that gap. This could be through property or other investments, or perhaps through portfolio or part-time work as you get older.
The estate of a married person automatically passes to their spouse if there are no provisions to the contrary in a will. Contrary to many people’s expectations, divorce does not automatically nullify a pre-existing will. This means that if you have not already done so, you may wish to write a new one. This is something that your legal adviser can help you with.