At Orlando Family Team, our divorce attorneys know how life-altering divorce can be, no matter when it occurs or under what circumstances. After all, a divorce unties the knot, not only legally but emotionally, the knot that was supposed to bind two people until death. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that the effects of divorce can be positive as well as negative.
While some of the effects of divorce are anticipated, inevitably, some will come as a surprise. It is extremely helpful to have a divorce attorney who is compassionate as well as capable to help you along. It is also important to explore the effects of divorce, both positive and negative, so that you can meet them head-on.
Balancing the Pluses and Minuses in Effects of Divorce
Since happy couples don’t divorce, at least one partner feels that the separation will be a move forward, and in most cases, their partner will come to agree. If you are contemplating a divorce in Central Florida, our husband and wife team of family law attorneys can help you navigate the tumultuous waters of divorce, providing you with advice and guidance based on years of successful experience.
Most everyone can agree that divorce does more than separate a couple; in a great many cases, it also restructures a family. This is not only true in marriages with children; divorce also affects in-laws on both sides. As with other matters relevant to divorce, this family restructure almost always has benefits as well as deficits. We have found that although divorcing couples tend to be more outspoken with complaints than with expressions of relief, or even gratitude, both are usually in play.
Our culture used to idealize marriage and demonize divorce, though as the years pass, there is increasing acceptance of the idea that both may indicate personal growth. At Orlando Family Team, we make an effort to support our clients wherever they are in the divorce process, always trying to smooth their path and look out for their best interests.
Let’s take a look at some of the effects of divorce, both positive and negative:
1. Grieving Is Part of the Divorce Process
Even if you were the first to bring up the possibility of divorce, you will likely grieve for what has been lost or for a closeness that was never really there, to begin with. It is typically impossible not to miss your former spouse or at least the familiarity of being a couple. In most cases, though you may be happy to be free of conflict, you may mourn the time when you two enjoyed one another and regret what happened to pull you apart.
In the aftermath of divorce, expect to be nostalgic for small, even silly, things: not having to buy a particular brand of pickles anymore, not smelling that special cologne, not exchanging a wink or a smile when something amusing to both of you happens.
The critical thing to remember about grieving is that it pales with time as you move on with your life. Also, since divorce does not involve death, you may have the opportunity to work out a better relationship with your ex that, though imperfect, will replace the old broken one.
2. You Will Have to Focus More Carefully on Your Own Financial Needs
Whatever financial rules applied during your marriage, financial decisions after divorce will be different. After your marital assets are divided, child custody is decided, and decisions are made regarding spousal maintenance and child support, you will be (perhaps for the first time) completely on your own in terms of managing your finances.
This can be both exhilarating and frightening. Though you may feel excited to be free of restraints put on your purchases, in many cases, you will be living on a smaller amount of money than previously. This will require changes in your spending habits and may require your moving or downsizing on transportation, travel, entertainment, wardrobe, computer or other equipment, cleaning services, dining out, etc.
These are not easy changes to make, especially when you are going through a period of stress and dealing with the stress of loved ones. You may also be looking for work after being home with young children or seeking better employment or a second job. In any case, while you need a higher income, you may feel pressured at the thought of having busier days and less time alone or with your children.
3. Compromise May Be Easier than You Imagined — or More Difficult
Compromise generally seems more just when the other party is yielding and you are getting what you want. The stark reality is that you must lose as well as win during a compromise and while winning feels great, losing does not. This is an area in which your divorce attorney can be very helpful by explaining typical parameters. Mediation can also be a great tool if you and your soon-to-be ex can communicate civilly.
Attorney Andrew Nickolaou of Orlando Family Team is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator who can act as such if you and your spouse choose to go this route. Mediation is far less confrontational than litigation and mediators are well-trained to facilitate compromise. It is important to be aware, however, that if Andrew acts as a mediator he will not be able to act as your divorce attorney.
4. The Mixed Emotions of Divorce
There is hardly any emotion you can name that we haven’t seen exhibited by our divorcing clients. The former intimacy, conflict, and distance of a divorcing couple lead to heightened emotions for both parties. Whatever the particulars of your divorce, you can expect to feel moments of sadness, rage, regret, guilt, humiliation, frustration, loneliness, anxiety, disappointment, fear, discomfort, and also relief, hope, exhilaration, nostalgia, and empathy (yes, even for your spouse).
This spectrum of emotions is unsettling but be reassured that whatever you’re feeling will subside as you go through the stages of divorce. You will come through all this and stabilize. Your new life waits on the other side.
5. Your Health Can Be Affected By Divorce as Well
Because of the body-mind connection, divorce can also take its toll on physical health. That’s why it is critical to pay attention to your diet and exercise regimen and to make sure you take time to relax during this period. It is also essential to keep up with medical check-ups during this harrowing time. You need extra care now, not self-neglect.
It’s wise to be aware that this period is one in which you may be more vulnerable to developing bad habits or lapsing into old ones, such as overeating or skipping meals, over-exercising or slacking off, smoking, alcohol or substance abuse, or impulsively entering into unhealthy relationships (ironically, ones similar to the one you are about to escape).
Studies have shown that both men and women tend to become less healthy after divorce. Both sexes are prone to dramatic weight gain or loss, weakened immune systems, digestive issues, and depression, and both have an increased risk of cardiovascular events, though the risk of mortality is much higher for men.
We mention these statistics not to alarm you, but just to remind you that this is not the time to stop paying attention to your physical or mental health. Divorce can be a catalyst for counseling or psychotherapy that can guide you to make positive changes.
How Orlando Family Team Will Help You Cope with the Effects of Divorce
Having a dedicated lawyer at your side as you deal with the challenges of divorce is invaluable. Since most likely you are going through a divorce for the first time, having one of our experienced attorneys at your side is comforting as well as necessary.
Experience matters and at Orlando Family Team our clients have the benefit of not one, but two Board Certified attorneys in Marital & Family Law. Besides being a Husband and Wife team, Attorneys Ophelia Bernal-Mora and Andrew Nickolaou are both Board Certified by the Florida Bar in their specialized area of practice. This is an achievement that only 275 attorneys in the entire State of Florida currently hold, and only 16 in Orange County, Florida.