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.

Broken wedding band

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.

Woman sitting on a couch while crying

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.

Man reviewing finances at table with calculator

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.

Man and woman shaking hands

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.

cut out of happy and sad faces being held up

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).

Man sitting at table with hands on head, very stressed

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.

6. Relationships Affected by Divorce

The relationship with your ex is redefined by your divorce. You may think this relationship will be completely severed by the divorce decree, but this won’t be the case if you have children whom you have to co-parent. Even if you don’t have children, you may find that this relationship, though altered a great deal, will continue since there will always be a past that only the two of you share.

Though it may not seem possible now, many divorced couples, after a period of healing has passed, can maintain a comfortable, even warm, relationship after they have split up.

Mother sitting with daughter on the porch of their house

Some friendships will be lost, but new ones will develop.

It is usual for some couples with whom you and your spouse were friends will fall away. Frequently, only one member of the couple will remain close with either one or both members of the other couple. You may find yourself left out of certain couples-only activities.
Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly make new friends who are single. You are also likely to develop new interests or engage in new activities which will lead you to new welcoming groups that lead to new friendships. Eventually, you may find a new partner that suits you better than your ex ever did.

Your relationship with your children will be affected by divorce.

Though you will have to cope with your children’s confusion, sadness, and/or anger at the altered living arrangements, divorce will allow you to individualize your relationship with your kids in a way that was impossible before. There will be more time to interact one-on-one with each child and to create a new sense of uninterrupted ease.

You may develop a new relationship with yourself.

You may have felt stifled doing your marriage, unable to explore because of limitations imposed by your spouse. You may have spent much too much time arguing or simply feeling lonely because of the lack of real connection between the two of you. Divorce often allows you to enjoy not only your freedom to make unilateral decisions but the pleasure of your own company.

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.

Woman meeting with a female lawyer

Not only do we have in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Florida divorce law; but we also have familiarity with court procedures and court personnel. What may seem scary or confusing to you is routine and manageable to our skilled legal team. We also have compassion for the enormous stress divorce causes and will always offer you our moral support in addition to strong legal representation.

We will assist you with navigating your divorce by:

Helping you understand your legal rights

So that you have realistic expectations and will not be taken advantage of during private negotiations. We will clarify ambiguous legalese, answer all your questions, and keep you informed.

Managing the intricacies of the legal process.

You can count on us to take care of all legal drafting, reviewing, and filing of legal documents in a timely manner, and to negotiate vigorously but diplomatically to make sure you are treated fairly.

Making sure that your marital assets are distributed equitably and that your separate assets are protected.

While marital property must be split equitably according to Florida law, we will see to it that property you owned before the marriage, individually inherited, were gifted with, or received as a court settlement for personal injury, remains yours alone.

Protecting your parental and spousal rights in terms of custody, child support, parenting time, and sometimes spousal support.

Your attorney will help you determine whether it is wise to fight for joint custody or whether in your case sole custody is a more practical option. We will also negotiate reasonable parenting time for the noncustodial parent and tackle the challenges of child support, whether you are on the paying or receiving end.

Under certain circumstances, we may also fight for your right to spousal support, for example, if you have been the primary caregiver for your children and have limited or no work experience or if you are older or suffering from disability or disease.

Sticking with you as you transition to the next stage of your life.

We know that divorce is tough and that no matter how smoothly it goes, there are always loose ends to be tied up and questions to be answered. We will remain on call to help you deal with transfers of property, name changes, relocation, and tax and insurance issues. We will also be available in the future if your divorce agreement requires modifications (as it typically will).

Contact Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys Today

Orlando Family Team is well-prepared to assist you not only in negotiating and settling your divorce but in helping you to cope with the effects of divorce on all areas of your life. We know how overwhelming the situation can be and will do everything in our power to support you through the challenges inherent in redefining your life. Contact us now. The earlier you reach out to us, the sooner we can lessen your stress.

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