Research suggests that while divorce rates may be decreasing, there are still a fair number of marriages (around 40% or so) that end in divorce. Through this article, we aim to learn how one may be able to start over in their life after divorce at 40. We will also try to compare being divorced at 40 to younger and older age brackets to understand the challenges that individuals may be faced. Additionally, we will also discuss briefly whether it is better to continue making efforts towards a failing marriage as compared to getting a divorce.

How Do You Start Over After Divorce At 40?

In order to start over after divorce at 40, you will first need to make some important decisions regarding the following aspects of your life:

  • Custody and living arrangements of your children (if any). You will have to decide between joint versus sole custody. In case your divorce is based on domestic abuse it is highly unlikely that your former partner will be allowed unsupervised visits to your children; let alone custody.
  • Your housing arrangements; whether you will continue living in your matrimonial house, move out, sell it and divide the proceeds between your partner and yourself. Ideally, this decision can be taken amicably; otherwise, it can be made part of the divorce proceedings when the matter is taken to court.
  • If you are on a low income, financially weaker than your former partner or have not been in service for a long period of time, you may consider claiming spousal maintenance from your former partner. In the UK, spousal maintenance is provided by the financially better-off partner to the weaker one as per court order.  This is in addition to child maintenance.
  • Consider the tax implications if you share joint investments with your partner, either of you makes a change to your will, establishes a trust, and divides your assets or your family home. You should make an informed decision in such matters by seeking the counsel of a legal and or financial advisor.

If you and your former partner have a pre or post-nuptial agreement in place, refer to it regarding key decisions on child maintenance, the division of assets and management of finances.

The impact of a divorce is not only financial but emotional as well; in fact, some people require therapy sessions with mental health experts. If you have an overwhelming surge of sadness during or after your divorce do not hesitate to reach out to friends and family. You may also consider the expert advice of a counsellor to help you through the adjustment phase of divorce.

Getting started after a divorce is different for each individual; depending on the reason(s) for their divorce and their circumstances. However, one must be prepared that healing is a process and it may take more time for some people to find their confidence back and be ready to adapt to a changed lifestyle post-divorce. 

Are You Better Off Getting A Divorce At 40 Than Any Other Age?

Since your 40s are considered to be a more stable age bracket, individuals who divorce at this age are generally found to be better at dealing with the emotional as well as financial aftermath of divorce than someone who is a decade younger or a decade older.

People who are working in their 40s are generally in mid to senior-level positions in their career, children are older and usually in high school or middle school, and your emotions are more under control as compared to your younger years so you can make more practical decisions regarding your divorce and health concerns are commonly little to none, unlike your 50s or 60s.

On the other hand, if you have been a stay-at-home parent during your married life, it can be difficult to start a career after divorce at 40; even if you are going to work part-time. If your kids were attached to your former partner (and they have been a good parent), they may be emotionally distressed with the onset of divorce proceedings especially if custody matters are to be resolved through the court. 

Some children may not be comfortable with having to change schools or their previous neighbourhood as a result of divorce while teenagers may find it difficult to cope with their parent’s divorce at an age when emotions are uncontrollable.

Why Is Getting A Divorce At 40 Better Than Coping With A Bad Marriage?

While getting a divorce is better as compared to coping with a bad marriage at any age, below are the main reasons why it is better to get a divorce at 40:

  • Your mental health is not compromised as a result of the anguish from a bad marriage. Positive mental health not only prevents diseases like depression and anxiety but also leads to overall physical well-being.
  • Your children will be healthier and happier when they are safe from the emotional effects of parental discord. According to a study, children of divorced parents are emotionally better off than compared to children who have witnessed a dysfunctional family or bad marriage of their parents.
  • Women can pursue a full-time career if they were holding it back earlier due to their partner. 
  • Having more time to yourself after a divorce will help you take up new hobbies or pursue passions that you were either unable to do earlier or had to give up due to a lack of interest from your partner.  

Conclusion:

Starting over after divorce at 40 brings its own set of challenges to the individuals involved; however, this is generally considered to be a time when both parties are emotionally and financially stronger with many years ahead of them. When divorce is amicable, you and your former partner can agree on important aspects such as housing, division of assets and the custody of children. If it is not so, the matter will go into court and the decision will be based on the legal system and evidence provided.

FAQs: How Do You Start Over After Divorce At 40?

What happens to a man after divorce?

Men’s health is more likely to suffer after a divorce especially if they are alone. This applies to both physical and mental health since their former spouse would have been taking care of them; unless their marriage was abusive or toxic.

Does life get better after divorce?

While there may be initial challenges on the emotional and financial side for both parties involved, most people find that life gets better once a challenging or bitter marriage comes to an end and divorce allows them to be themselves. On the other hand, some divorced individuals still find it difficult to cope with the end of a marriage.

How hard is it to start over after divorce?

How hard it is to start over after divorce varies from person to person and their unique circumstances. If you are coming out of an abusive marriage, are financially comfortable, you have a good support system you may find it easier to start over after a divorce.

Who suffers the most in a divorce?

While most people may not agree but research suggests that men tend to suffer most in a divorce. According to sociologists, men are less likely to take care of their physical and emotional health and with hardly 20% of men being awarded custody of children, the loneliness and lack of attention make men suffer more.

What is Divorced Dad Syndrome?

Divorced dad syndrome is referred to the behaviour of certain fathers who are trying to make up for bad behaviour out of guilt after a divorce. This is usually shown by being lenient with children or allowing what the mother does not or showering the children with lavish gifts.

References:

40 Reasons Getting Divorced In Your 40s Isn’t So Bad

The Truth About Starting Over After Divorce Over 40 – Your Coffee Break

Surviving Divorce After 40

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