You’re in your late 20s or early 30s, and you’re hit with a milestone you never wanted to achieve: you’re getting divorced. Whether you made a mistake in marrying your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or realized marriage is just not a right fit for you, you are now embarking on a slight detour in the road you once thought led to “happily ever after.”
A young, soon-to-be divorcée may encounter some of the following experiences during their divorce:
This May Take A While: Though your marriage likely lasted less than ten years, and thus qualified as a “short term” marriage under California law, there may be issues and disagreements that occur during your divorce that may make the divorce seem, or actually last, even longer than your marriage. Anticipate that this divorce may take a while, surpassing the minimum California waiting period of six (6) months. Even though your marriage was short, and assuming you don’t have kids and you never owned a home, you may run into legal disagreements with your soon-to-be ex-spouse over issues of spousal support, property division, debt, student loans or reimbursements that will make your divorce longer to resolve.
You May Not Be Able to Make It on Your Own (and that’s OK): Divorce is a tough process. For some, a divorce is akin to a public admission of failure; you picked the wrong person, or you just couldn’t make it work. Often the last thing a young divorcée wants to do is ask for help, whether it be financial assistance or emotional assistance. Being too proud to admit you need help will only make things harder for you as you go through your divorce. Lean on your friends. Speak to a therapist. Take the loan from your parents to hire the divorce attorney. You’re already going through a difficult time as you box up your wedding china, put away (or throw away) the wedding albums, and move out of your marital home. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength, and will ultimately make you feel better.
Consider Terminating Your Marital Status Earlier: As a possible form of emotional and mental closure, you may want to consider speaking to your divorce attorney about terminating your marital status (becoming single) after the six (6) month waiting period has passed, while you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse work out the remaining financial and property issues later. Terminating marital status earlier than resolving all of the remaining issues is a legal procedure that is not for everyone. If there are spousal support issues, health insurance issues or pension plans, it may not be in your best interests to terminate your marital status earlier. However, speak to your divorce attorney to figure out if this is something that is in your legal interest as it could lead to a clearer and more peaceful state of mind as you work through the remaining issues of your divorce.
Rediscover Your Interests and Yourself: Believe it or not, divorce can actually be an uplifting and empowering process as you work to recreate your future without the spouse who let you down. Remember what made you happy in your past, before the tumult of your marriage occurred. Reconnect with old friends. Focus on your career. Stay healthy. Don’t let the divorce process further hurt your future. Rather, allow your divorce to be a driving force for positive change in your life. Consider staying off social media for a little while, too, as you heal and work through this change. Divorce for a young divorcee provides can provide another chance at “happily ever after.” Though your present, and future, may look a little different than what you expected, embrace the change.
Many young divorcées believe that a divorce attorney is not necessary because their marriage was short, or because there are few assets to divide. But consider this: Hiring a divorce attorney to take care of the legal components of your break up allows a young divorcée to focus on their blossoming career, to date, and move forward with their life, while the legal unknowns and issues are taken care of by the divorce attorney. Also, using a divorce attorney minimizes, and can entirely diminish, the opportunity for a young divorcée to have to communicate with or contact their soon-to-be ex-spouse, allowing you to truly move past the marriage, and the ex-spouse associated with that dark and difficult time in your life.