Taking The Next Step: Life After Divorce

This is part 6 of a 7 part interview with Massachusetts divorce mediator Tracy Fischer acknowledging that divorce can be challenging for women, our panel of experts offers practical tips on navigating financial concerns, keeping emotions in check and rediscovering themselves. Watch the entire Navigating Divorce interview video.

Jenine G.:                            It’s hard when you’re in the moment to think that there is life after divorce, which there is, I’m excited to say. There is life after divorce, and it can be a great time. What would you like people to keep in mind and think about for that next chapter.

Lori Hubbard:                    So some tips, right? I think it’s all about making sure you feel more in control, so creating a budget can help do that. We have actually a resource, creating a household budget with our heritage planning series that’s also in the console. And then also consider updating your beneficiaries, but do know that you cannot update your beneficiaries until after the divorce is finalized, but it is something you want to remember. And then also, for women that are having to reenter the workforce, there’s actually tons of resources out there available. So there’s resume writing workshops. You can reach out to local job recruiters. There’s a great website that you can go to, and it’s womansdivorce.com/jobtoolkit. And so that can also help-

Jenine G.:                            Say it one more time.

Lori Hubbard:                    Let me try that one more time, womansdivorce.com/jobtoolkit.

Jenine G.:                            Nice.

Lori Hubbard:                    I did it. And so that can actually help with a lot of these items as well.

Jenine G.:                            Great. It’s funny, on the internet, there was a friend of mine joined a group of divorcees, and they travel together, so there’s a lot of great things out there. Tracy, what’s your advice of that next chapter? What do you tell people?

Tracy Fischer:                     I don’t mean to harp on it, but it is such a big change in life and it can be a traumatic experience, getting divorced, that I really do think therapy is so important. If you are the one who made the decision, you may feel guilty. If you are the one who didn’t get to make the decision, you feel powerless. So it’s really important to work these things out before you go on to your next relationship. On a more fun note, it’s important to recreate a new social circle. You may not have the same friends, you may want to find people like-minded who are going to be interested in doing the things that you’re going to do to fill up your life.  I suggest things like meetup groups, finding things that you enjoy, finding a hobby, or even looking for a new job that’s really going to give you something to sink your teeth into and feel like you can move forward.

Jenine G.:                            I got to tell you my red couch story, because that is to the point of, made you think about the next chapter. So when I was going through my second divorce, we were furnishing a room, which obviously, we did not complete. But one of the biggest arguments, we didn’t have the same taste in our style, and I really wanted this red velvet couch, and he was adamant that we were not buying a red velvet couch. So the second he was out of the house and we knew we were proceeding with the divorce, I bought the red velvet couch. I still own the red velvet couch. My current husband hates the red velvet couch, but I will be buried in that red velvet couch. But to the point of just regaining your own decisions doing what you want. It’s kind of nice.

Lori Hubbard:                    It’s all about celebrating the little things, right? The things that you sort of forget about. I remember reaching a point in my own marriage where we were well beyond any sort of compromise at that moment. So even simple things like taking a car ride together, we couldn’t compromise on music choice, right? A simple solve for that, I just put headphones in. So literally riding in the car, he’s listening to his own music, I’ve got my own music going through my headphones. Obviously after finalizing divorce, I no longer have to wear headphones, kind of awesome.