• AllynMarie Smedley, Esq.

New Year's Resolutions As You're Divorcing


If you’re going through a divorce, now’s the time to make some solid New Year’s resolutions you can keep – and that will see you through to (and beyond) the other side of your split.


Here are 11 resolutions we’re digging that might just be the right fit for you in 2020.


1. “I RESOLVE TO MOVE FORWARD WITH MY DIVORCE.”

Whether you or your spouse initiated your split, make this the year that you agree to stop dragging your heels and move through the divorce proceedings. That means if you’ve been holding out for a reconciliation and your ex assures you he or she really wants to split, resolve to proceed with the divorce so that you can also move forward with your new life. If you initiated the split, try to work with your ex to arrive at mutually agreed on and beneficial outcomes so you can each move forward.


2. “I RESOLVE TO STOP USING LITIGATION TO FIGHT WITH MY EX.”

We’ve seen this before – people use litigation and the courts to continue fighting old battles from their marriage. Trust us, this is the most expensive and least effective ways to handle this. Work through any emotional challenges with a therapist or trusted advisor instead. Focus on working through your divorce proceedings as pragmatically as possible with your attorney.


3. “I RESOLVE NOT TO WITHHOLD VISITATION OR CHILD SUPPORT TO PUNISH MY EX.”

Your children should be your top priority – so even though you might think that you’re retaliating against your ex by not allowing them to see your kids or withholding a child support payment, you’re really just hurting your kids.


4. “I RESOLVE TO BE A COOPERATIVE CO-PARENT.”

We know that co-parenting with your ex can be a challenge, but if you put your kids top of mind, you’ll take the necessary steps to work together as effectively as possible to give your kids the best new family dynamic. Create a common goal: to raise your kids to be the best and happiest people they can be. Tip: Lots of divorced parents have turned to online communication tools to co-parent seamlessly and with much less conflict.


5. “I RESOLVE TO MEET WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR.”

Living separately on a similar income, at least at first, will definitely be an adjustment. If you don’t already work with your own financial advisor, now’s a great time to find one. Whether or not you were heavily involved in your household’s finances, now you need to take control of yours. (See a career counselor as well if you’re reentering the workforce or upleveling your career.) This is also a good time to update your will, trusts, insurance policies, and estate plans.


6. “I RESOLVE TO STOP BAD-MOUTHING MY EX.”

While it’s tempting to complain about your ex to family, friends, or the person next to you the treadmill at the gym, consider this: What would happen if you stopped focusing on what he or she has done (or is doing)? By giving your ex more air time in your mind and life, you’re not allowing yourself to move forward more freely.


Tip: It’s a good idea to work through your feelings about your divorce, so find a therapist or clergyperson you can meet with regularly.


7. “I RESOLVE TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF.”

From fitting in a regular exercise or meditation routine to getting enough sleep, to eating the right foods to fuel your body, don’t neglect your physical and mental well-being. To come out stronger in the long run, you need to be strong in body and mind – and also have established good personal care habits.


8. “I RESOLVE TO GET THE SUPPORT I NEED.”

A support system is key to weathering the divorce process. That system will look different for everyone – yours could include a therapist or counselor, a group of women who’ve gone through divorce, a life coach, or career counselor, and so on. It’s a smart idea to get a support team in place, and not to hold back on asking for the help you need.


9. “I RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW MYSELF AGAIN.”

Often, when you’ve been in a relationship or marriage, your beliefs and experiences meld with that of your significant other. Now’s your chance to rediscover yourself and what makes you tick. Suggestion: Start taking 15- or 20-minute daily walks to give your mind the chance to wander – see what kind of thoughts and ideas come up, and take a little time to journal them when you return home.


10. “I RESOLVE TO DO SOMETHING NEW.”

Whether it’s a new hobby or traveling to a new destination, make the time to create space for an activity or place you’re passionate about – expanding your horizons might be just what you need.


11. “I RESOLVE TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE.”

When you’re going through a divorce, it’s definitely tough to always look on the bright side. That’s why a daily gratitude practice can be vital. It can be as simple as saying or writing down one to three things you’re thankful for in the evening – writing your thoughts down lets you revisit your list whenever you’re feeling down, or comparing your life to someone else’s.


Choose the resolutions that resonate most with you, and add your own to your list. We hope that 2020 is the year you achieve your best life yet.


If you’re considering divorce, our attorneys at Smedley Law Group can provide you with the professional advice you need to make an educated decision. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.

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750 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096

Tel: 856-251-0800 / Fax: 856-251-0662

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