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What to Expect After Divorce: Life and the Legal Process

According to a 2019 study of over 130 countries, the United States has the highest number of children living with single parents. This is likely because the divorce rate in the US is also one of the highest in the world. If you are considering getting a divorce, it is crucial to be prepared for what comes next.

What to Expect After the Divorce is Final

When a couple decides to get divorced, they go through a legal process where their assets and debts are divided, and child custody and visitation arrangements are made. Once the divorce is final, both parties can move on with their lives. Here is what you can expect after your divorce is finalized:

Child Custody and Visitation

If you have children, the most important thing to remember is that they are not pawns in your divorce. Although there is a misconception that children usually go to the custody of their mother, this is not the default setting. Fathers can also exercise their rights and fight for custody of their children. This is why your child custody lawyer will ensure you receive a beneficial decision regarding child custody.


There are some benefits to paying alimony that often go overlooked. For one, paying alimony can help you stay out of court. If you agree with your ex-spouse about spousal support, you can avoid going to court and having a judge decide how much you should pay. However, when it comes to taxes, you should note that alimony is only tax-deductible if you finalized your divorce before 2019.

Debt Division

In addition to dividing assets, the court will also divide any debts that are owed by the couple. This includes things like credit card debt, student loans, and mortgages. You will need to pay off all joint account debts to close them and keep track of all your debt payments after the divorce is final. You can do this by setting up a budget and tracking your expenses. This will help you stay on top of your payments and ensure you are not accruing any new debt.

Tax Consequences

One of the things that you will need to keep in mind after your divorce is finalized is the tax consequences of the divorce. If you are ordered to pay child support, you will be unable to deduct the payments from your taxes. Moreover, if you got divorced after 2019, you can no longer include your alimony in filing your taxes, regardless if you are the payer or the receiver.

Post-Divorce Life Changes

While a divorce may be one of the most challenging things you go through in your life, it is not the end. Many changes come along with a divorce – some of which you may not have expected. Here is what to expect after your divorce is finalized:

  1. You may feel like you are grieving a loss – Although you may have been the one to initiate the divorce, it is still a loss. The end of a relationship, even if it was not a good one, can be hard to deal with. Give yourself time to grieve and heal.
  2. You may feel relieved – After all the paperwork is signed and the divorce is finalized, you may feel a sense of relief. This is especially true if your marriage is unhappy or abusive.
  3. You may struggle financially – If you were relying on your spouse’s income, you might struggle financially after the divorce. Make sure to keep track of your spending and budget accordingly.
  4. You will have to make new friends – If you and your spouse share many friends, you may need to make new friends after the divorce. This can be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and expand your social circle.
  5. You may have to deal with custody issues – If you have children, you will need to figure out a custody arrangement that works for you and your ex-spouse. This can be a complicated process, but it is vital to put your children’s needs first.
  6. You will need to learn to live alone – If you have been married for a long time, you may need to learn how to live alone after the divorce. This can be a challenging adjustment, but it is also an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

No one ever really knows what to expect after a divorce. Every relationship is different, and each person’s experience will be unique. However, some things are likely to happen regardless of the situation. So, you can prepare for what’s to come by understanding these common post-divorce effects.

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