The Unexpected Consequences of Divorce

Divorce is a major life event that reshapes the lives of a separating couple and can have wider implications for their social circles. While most people only consider the immediate impact of divorce, it is important to understand the potential unexpected consequences that often accompany it.

Where did my friends go?

When a couple separates, their friends often feel torn between them and are unsure how to maintain a relationship with both parties. Some will choose one of the separating spouses, while others will err on the side of caution and withdraw entirely.

The loss of friends after divorce affects up to 40% of people [1] and can leave them feeling isolated at a time when they most need the support of a trusted social circle. The emotional toll of losing friends on top of navigating a divorce can lead to mental health issues including anxiety and depression and can affect people’s ability to think clearly and make rational decisions.

Attorneys who are experienced in all aspects of divorce law in Santa Fe are well placed to help their clients come to terms with their feelings and direct them to appropriate professionals who can help them achieve better mental health during their divorce proceedings.

Why is work suddenly so hard?

The emotional toll of divorce often spills out into other areas of a person’s life. One area that can naturally suffers is work life. When an individual can rely on their spouse to help with domestic duties and childcare, and finances are shared, it is easy to give one’s full attention to their day job.

During and after divorce, individuals assume sole responsibility for all aspects of their personal and professional lives, which can increase their stress levels, affect their concentration, and damage their performance at work.

It is important to recognize when the strain is becoming too great and seek professional help if needed. Seeking the support of your manager, taking time off work, or temporarily changing your hours are all strategies that may help you to adjust in the short term to your new way of life.

Are my children unhappy?

Unfortunately, children are often emotionally affected by their parents’ divorce, and this may affect their behavior in unexpected ways. Children often express their emotional struggles through their actions. They may get into trouble at school, make poor friendship choices, apportion blame, act in an aggressive or resentful manner, or simply withdraw.

One of the, if not the most, important things to address in a divorce involving children is the children’s well-being. Special attention and care is given in every divorce case involving children in New Mexico to minimize the impact of the divorce on children. This is accomplished through a variety of ways, including custody arrangements to ensure the best interests of the children, direct involvement of therapists and/or Guardians ad Litem for children to ensure they do not suffer more than they need to and the prohibition of children testifying regarding custody or being forced to pick between parents. The Court’s sole factor that they must determine in deciding custody is the best interests of the children. The degree to which children are suffering under one parent’s care versus the other’s, or the actions or inactions by a parent that negatively affect the children are very important factors that will be taken into serious consideration.

It is important to understand that the ways in which children express their unhappiness at the changes imposed upon them are merely coping strategies, and addressing the root cause is the most important first step to improving their emotional health in divorce.

How can I afford to live alone?

The financial impact of divorce is well known. Sharing finances, pooling family money, splitting bills and making joint investment decisions allows a couple to create a safety margin that enables them to enjoy a certain quality of life. When you divorce, you will almost certainly see a difference in your financial stability. Divorce itself can be very expensive and no longer having the additional income from your spouse can seem overwhelming to many. This is normal and it may take some time to return to equilibrium.

Thankfully, New Mexico is a community property state, which means that all assets and debts that are acquired during the marriage are divided equally between the spouses when they divorce [2]. Achieving financial independence is a hard-fought battle, but with the right advice and support, careful budgeting and a responsible outlook, it is absolutely achievable.

Overcoming these unexpected consequences

Divorce delivers plenty of challenges and uncertainties, but it also presents an opportunity for a fresh start and a better life. To find out how we can help you emerge stronger from your divorce, contact the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer today.