Posted on Feb 24, 2011

While going through a divorce, many women can’t think of anything harder that they have done in their lives. But experts say that the toughest times for women lie in the months and years after a divorce takes place – when many women find themselves struggling with self-esteem, changes in finances, and re-entering the dating scene. While deciding to divorce can absolutely be the best decision for some women in the long run, the time right after a divorce can be a difficult period of transition.

In fact, one report from Marie Claire found that a women’s overall quality of life drops by almost half in the year after a divorce. Women are no longer part of a two-income household (or being supported by their husband’s income) and in many cases, they lose emotional support and time with their children. At the same time, many find themselves unsure of how to look for a new relationship or redefine themselves as single.

More specifically, studies have found that women struggle with mental illness more than their ex-spouses in the decade after a divorce. Another piece of research found that women often focus on getting a divorce without thinking about the financial aspects of post-divorce life, leading to several years of struggle immediately after a divorce is finalized.

What can women do to avoid these difficulties in the years following a divorce? Experts say that while the divorce process will always be hard for both men and women, women can help prevent some of the difficulties of post-divorce life by making a financial plan early and making sure that they have the emotional support and mental health resources that they may need during their life transition.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington