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Moving On With Your Life

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Whether your marriage ends due to the death of your spouse or due to a divorce, it is important that you move on with your life.

Yes, that comment is easier to say than to do, but it is critical that you don't allow grief or depression to take control.

Understand that you may find yourself dealing with the stages of death and dying during your divorce process. The stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Allow yourself time to get things done. If an item is hard to do, or a decision is difficult to make, then wait. You will know when the time is right.

Physical Concerns

  • Eat healthy foods and avoid too much alcohol, drugs, caffeine, sugars or tobacco.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Drink water.

  • Maintain a regular schedule.

Emotional Concerns

  • Be good to yourself.

  • Keeping resentment, bitterness, anger, and hostility in your heart can make you physically ill. Work on letting go of this negativity.

  • Get out of the house now and then.

  • Cry.

  • Find and do things that bring joy and laughter to your life.

  • Start a personal journal.

  • Join a support group.

  • If you or your children need professional help, get it.

Practical Concerns

  • Avoid hasty decisions...wait a year before selling the house, moving, or making any major purchases.

  • Get a post office box.

  • Don't become romantically involved with anyone for at least a year. You need this year for introspection and personal growth.

  • Stay in charge of your own life. Don't let the kids take over.

  • If your spouse has died, answer the mail and condolence letters. If your marriage ended in a divorce, share the news with friends and associates. It's part of the healing process.

  • Ask for specific help from family and friends when you need it.

Financial and Legal Concerns

  • Change bank accounts.

  • Notify Social Security, business associates, employees, organizations, banks, auto registration, credit cards, bond and stock titles, and real estate titles of your change in marital status.

  • Review auto, home and personal insurance needs.

  • Don't pay any bills you are unsure of until you verify their authenticity.

  • Hold off on paying medical and legal bills until they are all in.

  • Ask the funeral home for 6-8 copies of the death certificate. In the case of a divorce, get several copies of your final divorce decree.

  • Keep Social Security, bank account, and insurance numbers handy.

  • Set up a file for copies of everything that has to do with the estate or divorce, including notes from telephone conversations.

  • Whether you are coping with death or divorce, you will have to deal with the personal belongings of your spouse. Don't run away from emptying drawers and closets.

    Don't let someone else do this for you. It is a necessary part of the grieving process. It may be helpful to have someone with you who is understanding and can share your memories and stories.

  • File insurance claims. Check on mortgage, credit, or work related insurance policies also.

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