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5 Divorce-Related Resolutions for 2024

A new year is a new opportunity to make a fresh start. If you are considering divorce, going through the divorce process, or newly adjusting to post-divorce life, here are five tips for transitioning to a healthier, happier place this year. 

Divorce Resolutions For The New Year 

1.Shift your focus to future opportunities.

Rather than focusing on the pain of the past, shifting your mindset to concentrate on future opportunities is a healthier, more positive way to approach the year ahead. Think about what you want to achieve and what you need to do to move in that direction. During the divorce process, many people feel lost. They may feel like they are constantly waiting around for the next step in the process, and that so much is out of their control. But creating goals, listing tasks that are needed to accomplish those goals, and completing those tasks allows you to reframe your outlook, take back control, and take positive steps toward your future. 

2.Become a better master of your finances. 

Divorce is a time of great financial upheaval as assets are divided to support two households. In many marriages, it’s common that one spouse handled the money while the other had little to no involvement in managing the finances. A new year is a great time to take better control of your finances. Depending on your situation, you may want to sit down with your CPA or financial planner to help you understand your financial picture and what it will look like post-divorce. Financial professionals can guide you on how to best preserve the assets you receive in the divorce, and how to plan and budget to ensure that your financial assets support your goals. For instance, if you want to buy a house, talking to a financial professional can help you determine how much house you can realistically afford and what you need to do to save up for it. 

If you haven’t already done so, find out what your credit score is. Your credit score will impact your ability to lease an apartment or obtain a mortgage. Obtaining your credit reports will not only empower you with knowledge, but it will give you the opportunity to clear up any inaccuracies, which are common in credit reports, and otherwise take steps to improve your score. 

3.Communicate more effectively with your co-parent. 

Many former spouses with minor children find communications with their co-parent to be challenging. But maintaining effective communication is critical to successful co-parenting, and a new year is a new opportunity to commit to more effective communication with your former spouse. The BIFF (Brief, Informative, Friendly, Firm) method has been shown to be highly effective for former spouses when communicating about their children. Stick to declarative, fact-based statements that are not overly emotional, such as “Johnny needs to be picked up at soccer practice today at 7 p.m.” Be brief with your messages, but informative enough to limit the need for follow-up questions. Avoid blaming or shaming language. The goal is to prevent issues, not exacerbate them. 

4.Keep your child out of the divorce process. 

Divorce is an adult issue from which children should be protected. Going forward, make sure your children do not hear details about the divorce process, settlement, financials, or reasons for the divorce, because that puts them right in the middle. Children just want to know that their parents are figuring it out. Tell your children, “Daddy/Mommy and I will figure out the divorce together. These are adult issues, and we are handling them. We love you very much, and we’ve got this. You don’t have to worry about it.” 

Avoid talking negatively about your co-parent in front of the children. Don’t tell your kids, “Your father’s the reason we don’t have money,” or “Your mother is the reason we can’t do this.” Don’t use your kids as messengers, which puts them in the middle. Avoid asking them what’s going on in the other household, what the other parent is talking about, or who the other parent spends time with. Focus on being present with your children and enjoy them when you have them and avoid putting them in the middle.   

5.Make time to deal with stress. 

No matter where you are on your divorce journey, make time to address stress in healthy ways. Divorce is a fundamental foundational change that affects everyone differently. One way to address stress is to arm yourself with as much information as possible so you can make informed decisions at various stages. Throughout the process, it’s important to make time to do activities that you enjoy and that relieve stress, such as seeing friends, getting outside, exercising, and working on a hobby. Find time to separate yourself from the divorce process so that the divorce process is not always your lived reality.

Depending on your situation, you may benefit from speaking to a therapist, who can help you work through your emotions and explore who you are and who you are working to become. For a variety of reasons, people often lose themselves in marriage. In divorce, you need to rediscover yourself and reestablish yourself as an independent person. It will not happen overnight, but a new year is a great time to start the process to beginning the next chapter.  

About Ruel Ruel Burns Feldman & Britt

The family law attorneys at Ruel Ruel Burns Feldman & Britt serve as trusted advisors and represent clients in divorce – in the conference room and courtroom – and appeals in Connecticut. If you are considering a divorce or seeking a modification or appeal of your divorce or child custody orders, contact our family law attorneys at 860-206-9096 or online.