New Year’s Resolutions for the Recently Divorced or Separated

How do you move on after a marriage ends? Here are ten practical tips.
Hand turns a dice and changes the expression “new year” to “new start”.

For many of us, 2020 was not the best year. If you went through a divorce or separation last year, it probably was even worse. Now it’s 2021, and a great time to make a fresh start. So here are 10 resolutions for people who are recently divorced or separated. And if you are someone who is considering divorce, we have a tip for you as well.

  1. Don’t Be Bitter or Resentful About the Divorce
    Easier said than done, right? But you know it’s true: Bitterness is an unproductive feeling that can even be harmful to your health while having no impact on the other person. As painful as your separation might have been, resolve to put your resentment behind you and move forward.
  2. Get Your Finances in Order for the New Year
    Start by making sure you have separated your banking and credit card accounts. But don’t stop there: You may also need to update your will, insurance policies, and any trusts or estates. If you have a financial planner, it’s a good idea for the two of you to talk.
  3. Commit to Being Healthier In the New Year
    We all know that regular, moderate exercise is good for the body. But researchers have confirmed that exercise also is good for our mental health. So if your routine has fallen off, resolve to do better in the new year. If you have kids, learn how parents can find time to exercise. The first step is to include them. For example, you might play Four Square, do yoga, ride bikes, or just go for a family walk. Remember, if it doesn’t “feel” like exercise, you’re a lot more likely to stick with it.
  4. Set a (Reasonable) Goal for The New Year
    Speaking of getting healthier, you can make it a formal, reasonable goal. Specifically, it might not be reasonable to say, “I will lose 20 pounds this year.” But you could commit to going for a 20-minute walk three times a week, or try (slowly) running a 5k. You also could make it a goal to learn a new hobby or read more. And here’s a goal you’ll be happy to work on: Resolve to spend more quality time with your friends in 2021.
  5. Remember to Relax A Little in the New Year
    At the other extreme, some divorced parents find it very hard to slow down. But you can’t do it all, and you can’t keep going non-stop. Learn about the importance of allowing yourself to relax—and then commit to doing it every now and then.
  6. Don’t Use the Kids as a Way to Punish Your Ex After the Divorce
    You’ve heard the stories: Divorced parents refusing to make child support payments, preventing a visitation, or lying to the kids. Remember that while it is tempting to “punish” your ex, ultimately, it is the kids who really are being hurt. Also, when they are older and realize what you did, the one who really ends up hurt maybe you.
  7. Commit to Cooperating with Your Ex as Much as Possible After the Divorce
    For example, don’t drag your feet on returning the kids after a visitation, conceal a visit to the ER, or try to undermine his/her new relationship. And let your ex come to the kids’ birthday parties and other major events. In fact, make sure he or she knows about the event.
  8. Commit to Forgiving Your Ex After the Divorce
    We’ve already said that feeling bitter is not productive. But there’s more: After a divorce, you also have to embrace the value and benefits of forgiveness. The day you can honestly say, ”I have forgiven my ex for ending the marriage,” will be a very good one. Similarly, don’t forget that you also may need to be committed to forgiving yourself.
  9. If You Need to Get Help After the Divorce, Be Willing to Admit It
    It’s easy to offer advice, but acting on it is another matter. So be honest with yourself: Are you struggling to move on? Could you benefit from seeing a therapist? If you’re not sure, perhaps you can ask some trusted friends for their honest opinion. However, you’ll have to be ready for their honest answers.
  10. Resolve to Get Closure On Your Divorce or Separation
    Perhaps you have been putting off finalizing the divorce, or your spouse is not cooperating. If so, resolve to work through the issues in the new year. You can start by setting a deadline. Or perhaps the two of you have been separated for months. Again, we suggest you set a deadline for when you will either get back together or end it. Divorce is not fun, but it probably is better than spending the new year in marital limbo.

If You Are Considering Divorce in the New Year

If you’re thinking about ending your marriage in 2021, resolve to do more than just brood about it. Start educating yourself. Sabelhaus + Lynch is an award-winning family law firm with years of experience practicing family law. Stephanie and Sean can offer you a no-cost, 20-minute initial consultation. They can explain some of the process and help you determine what you want to do in the new year.

For better or worse, 2020 is officially in the books. Now it’s time to get moving on making 2021 a better year for YOU. Call us today at 817-668-5879.