Share on Facebook

What I Wish I’d Known Before Getting a Divorce

Making the decision to get a divorce is never an easy one. While these men and women don't regret ending their marriages, these are the valuable lessons they learned.

Golden wedding rings with judge gavel, closeupAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Getting a divorce

Divorces can get really messy is you let them. Read the tips below to try to make this huge life change as smooth a process as possible. Here’s how divorce will change in 2020.

Midsection of lawyer putting documents in briefcase with gavel at desk in courtroomAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Treat it like a business deal

“Take your heart out of the process, says Karen L. “Remember, your lawyer is not your friend; he is your legal counsel. Period.” Check out 15 things this divorce lawyer wants all married people to know.

Happy family is having fun outdoors. Father, mother and son are spending time together.4 PM production/Shutterstock

Try to have a good relationship with your ex

“Keep in mind that your kids are not involved in the demise of the relationship, they are always the mother and fathers’ children no matter what,” says Stephanie M. “Keeping the children out of the parents’ relationship is an effort that needs to be both parents’ priority. This is something that should be addressed before the children are told about the change that’s about to happen in their lives.” Here are the best ways to break the news gently to your kids.

Young mom with her 5 years old daughter and 4 months old baby dressed in pajamas are relaxing and playing in the bed at the weekend together, lazy morningAlena Ozerova/Shutterstock

Your actions will impact your children

“I wish I had known how much my resentments and the hurts that I had not dealt with and let go of impacted my daughter’s life after the divorce,” says Phil R. “Life was, and sometimes is still, hard but we have all grown through the pain,” says Phil R. If you’re looking to let go of resentment, follow these 12 proven steps to truly forgive anyone for anything.

marriage contract and penBurdun Iliya/Shutterstock

Don’t be afraid to do it

“Staying in a marriage for 22 years was such a waste of precious years,” says Liz B. “I was fearful of leaving because my ex threatened that if I did I would lose my daughter,” says Liz B. “Knowing now what I know about child custody, that would not have happened. My daughter deserved a better, calmer and less chaotic home.” For a different perspective, read this personal account of how one woman is learning to navigate her marriage differently than her parents that got divorced.

Candid indoor shot of frustrated young nanny babysitting four wild noisy naughty children who playing and fooling around, absolutely ignoring her. Female babysitter can't handle mischievous kidsshurkin_son/Shutterstock

There will still be co-parenting differences

“Our biggest challenge with marriage has been over the differences in parenting styles,” says Randy U. “We fought about everything from respecting the privacy of the master bedroom to being accountable for chores.” And those arguments don’t stop just because you’re now divorced.

a hand of office employee choose and pick a folder of document paper from opened office's steel drawerThayut Sutheeravut/Shutterstock

Keep financial records

“I wish I would have had in-depth knowledge of financial assets and debts including insurance policies, business worth, and stock accounts,” says Lisa H. Here are the money secrets divorce attorneys wish you knew.

Pondering african american young woman thinking on creative ideas for publication in blog on smartphone device sitting in coffee shop.Thoughtful dark skinned hipster girl looking out of windowGaudiLab/Shutterstock

Listen to your instincts

“I got divorced because my ex was drinking early morning through the night. Then he would pick a fight when he’d had too many,” says Gilly H. “I didn’t want my young children growing up with that.” But whatever the reason, listen to your instincts, she says. “Make plans to work and support yourself and your kids. Be self-sufficient, but get family and local support too if you can. Work hard and your kids will love and respect you, even if you are a single parent.” These are 10 things single parents want you to know.

Portrait of relaxed mature couple having a glass of wine at campsite. Senior man and woman toasting wine at on summer day.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

There’s love after divorce

“It doesn’t matter your age or number of children, there are lots of good, single people out there,” says Erin O. “Women especially are told that once we become a certain age, we are no longer ‘marriage material’, whatever that is. Don’t buy into that. If what you want is marriage again, then you will find it!” Read on for 29 tips for finding love after 40.