Starting fresh after a divorce may be challenging for some people. However, there are various ways individuals can manage their life after divorce.

Divorce is common in countries in the Western world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 40–50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.

Although many people can cope well with life after divorce and are able to bounce back, some people may find that divorce has a significant effect on their physical and mental health. Divorce can have a considerable effect on the whole family.

In this article, we will discuss what life might be like after divorce, some tips to help navigate potential difficulties, and how to move forward and start fresh.

Almost every aspect of life can change after divorce, including socio-financial status, having to co-parent, potentially living alone, moving home, and who a person socializes with.

The most common response to divorce is resilience. This suggests that most people will be able to bounce back after a divorce. However, a person may initially find it difficult to adjust to their new life.

Sometimes, a person may experience a negative impact on their physical or mental health following a divorce.

A person may wish to seek support from a professional during or following a divorce, such as a divorce mediator or divorce coach.

A divorce mediator can act as a mutual third party to help a couple work through any conflicts that may arise during a divorce.

A divorce coach will work with only one person going through the divorce. A divorce coach does not offer legal advice but can act as a motivator and emotional support for a person.

Following a divorce, a person may want to work with a divorce counselor. A divorce counselor can help a person work through any feelings that come up and help them rebuild their lives.

If they have children, a couple going through a divorce can help minimize the impact on them by trying to set aside any differences and working together to focus on the children.

There are several ways a couple can help their children during and after a divorce, including:

  • never involving the children in any arguments
  • speaking to the other person respectfully and not criticizing them in front of the children
  • discussing any issues or concerns privately away from the children
  • not arguing in front of the children
  • never forcing the children to take sides
  • respecting the relationship between the children and the other parent
  • sticking to a consistent routine so the children know what to expect

Read about how divorce can affect children.

Assertive communication is when a person clearly and confidently communicates their wants, needs, and opinions without disregarding the thoughts and feelings of the other person.

During or after a divorce, it can be helpful for both people to practice assertive communication so that the needs of each person are clear and to avoid conflict.

Following a divorce, a person may be living alone some or all of the time, which may feel isolating. It is important a person builds a network of people that they can seek support from.

An individual may want to spend extra time with friends and family. They may also want to join a divorce support group to connect with other people who are going through or have gone through a divorce.

Divorce can feel like a complete upheaval. A person may experience a range of emotions along the way. It is important that an individual allows themselves the space to feel the emotions that occur and takes time to process them.

A person may wish to try mindfulness meditation. This can encourage a person to accept and process any emotions that arise following a divorce instead of trying to ignore or change them.

Going through a divorce may be stressful, and it can be easy for a person to neglect taking care of themselves.

Practicing self-care after a divorce may help to lower stress and increase energy. Some self-care ideas can include:

Life after a divorce may feel isolating. Isolation and loneliness can lead to other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and depression.

A person may want to try taking up a new hobby or finding a new activity they might enjoy. This can be fun and a good way to meet new people.

Following a divorce, it may be tempting to blame the other person in the relationship for the marriage ending.

Forgiving the other person can ease conflict in future communications and be beneficial for the person who is forgiving. Research suggests that forgiveness can also improve mental and physical health.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about life after divorce.

What are the stages of life after divorce?

A person may experience several stages of grief following a divorce. These can include denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Does the pain of divorce ever end?

Going through a divorce can be painful, and it may not feel like the pain will ever go away. However, with time, things will typically get better, and life will get back to a new normal.

Nearly half of all marriages in the Western world end in divorce, and many people will bounce back and move on.

However, going through a divorce can be a very difficult and life changing experience. It may take time for a person to adjust and that amount of time is different for everyone. There are several ways a person can help themselves move on and start fresh.

Seeking professional help, building a support network, practicing self-care, and focusing on the children, if they have them, are just some of the ways a person can help themselves adjust to this new stage in their life.