You may remember exactly what you were doing the moment you decided you no longer wanted to stay in an unhappy marriage. Maybe you were taking a long walk, trying to sort out your thoughts and whether you could envision a future without your spouse. Then again, maybe you made a decision to file for divorce in a New York court at a seemingly random moment, sitting at your work desk or while perusing the produce aisle in a grocery store.

Regardless of the details that may have led to your decision, once you file papers for divorce, you can expect your life to change in multiple, significant ways, especially if you have children. It’s often helpful to talk to someone you trust who has experience in what works and what doesn’t regarding the ability to achieve a swift, amicable settlement and move on in life.

Changes after divorce that might catch you off guard

Whether your marriage just sort of fizzled out over time or a specific event prompted the breaking point, it’s difficult to imagine what life will be like as you adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle. The following list includes various changes people often go through that may apply to your situation:

  • Your emotions might feel like they’re all over the place as you leave the past behind and make plans for your and your children’s future. Conflicting emotions are common in divorce, and you may feel angry or resentful one moment, then nostalgic or sorrowful the next.
  • Not all changes in divorce are bad. You might be surprised by a new sense of independence or freedom when you begin making your own choices and decisions without having to run every idea past a spouse.
  • You might also have more time to pursue your career or personal interests.
  • Divorce has a way of weeding out true friends from mere acquaintances. Someone you thought was your friend might turn away if he or she feels a sense of loyalty to your spouse.
  • Especially if you are a custodial parent, you may be even more responsible for providing for the needs of your children after divorce. Even though you love your kids and would do anything needed for their well-being, it can be stressful when you no longer have a co-parent in the same household and you’re trying to handle everything on your own.

You might feel lonely from time to time after you file for divorce. No matter how long you were married, you no doubt have grown accustomed to spending time with or seeing your spouse on a daily basis. Suddenly living as a single person again may evoke unexpected feelings of sadness or loneliness.

Divorce is more bearable when you build a strong support network

You might lose a few friends when you and your spouse divorce. However, if you reach out to extended family members, a trusted confidant, co-workers, your children’s teachers or a licensed counselor as needed, it can boost your confidence and help you feel more capable of adjusting to the changes in your life. Many New York spouses also add experienced legal advocates to their support teams to help resolve any obstacles that arise during proceedings.