Angelina Jolie recently made headlines for commenting that her divorce has forced her to step back from her directing career and accept more acting work instead. In 2019, three years after filing for divorce, a judge ruled that the couple could be legally divorced despite not finalizing their settlement. Two years later, with their divorce agreement still not completed, Jolie speaks out about how divorce has affected her career and day-to-day life.
According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jolie said, “I love directing, but I had a change in my family situation that’s not made it possible for me to direct for a few years.” She continued, “I needed to just do shorter jobs and be home more, so I kind of went back to doing a few acting jobs.”
Though often not discussed in the media, divorce has a significant impact on a family’s day-to-day life. Even when both parties agree that a divorce is the right choice and the separation is in the best interests of the family, dealing with how your life changes can be a difficult process.
Below we review two of the major changes you can expect post-divorce, and how you can prepare for them.
Your Financial Life May Change
When a couple is married and living together, their expenses are generally combined. Even when a couple keeps separate bank accounts, the cost of living per individual is less than when only one person is responsible for all expenses. Even with fair and equitable spousal support in place, it can still be difficult to adjust to your new financial needs and responsibilities.
A few important financial considerations to make when divorcing:
- How will you prepare for retirement?
- How will existing retirement accounts and pensions be divided?
- Will you be responsible for any debt post-divorce?
- Will you be responsible for any mortgage or auto payments?
- What property holdings will you have and how will you manage them?
- How will you manage your credit score?
When going through a divorce, it is worth discussing your financial situation with a financial advisor. They can help you know what to expect and help you plan for the future. It is also important that you closely monitor your credit score post-divorce. This is especially crucial if you and your former spouse have shared debt, such as credit cards or mortgages. If the other person fails to make payments on a debt, and your name is still associated with the debt, your credit may be impacted, even if they were the one named responsible for the debt in your divorce settlement.
It is also common for people to change jobs, relocate, or return to the workforce after a divorce. If you are in a situation where you have to relocate, regardless of whether you are the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent, you should speak with a trusted attorney experienced in child relocation as moving can affect your custody agreement.
Your Children’s Needs May Change
Adjusting to life post-divorce when you share children with your former spouse is particularly challenging. Not only are you adjusting to seeing your children significantly less, but you are also helping them cope with this change in their life. Many parents have a lot of anxiety over how to support their children emotionally as they deal with their new life. You are not alone in this.
After a divorce, your children’s needs may change. While you and your former spouse will have a custody agreement and parenting plan in place, you may find that there are things that do not work out as planned or that unexpected issues pop up. Strategizing with your coparent about how you will respond to these things can be very helpful. For example, how will you approach disputes? What will you do if the custody schedule needs to change unexpectedly?
If you find that your custody agreement is not adequate for the needs of your family, or you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, you may qualify for a custody order modification. Reach out to a lawyer to discuss your options.
Divorce is also emotionally difficult for children to deal with. It’s important to note that every child deals with the divorce of their parents differently. Even two siblings can have very different reactions to the separation of their parents. After a divorce, you may want to consider working with a family counselor or therapist. Some children respond well to having a safe, neutral third party to speak to, and some families find group counseling helpful as they learn to relate to each other post-divorce.
We Are Here for You
As Jolie noted, her divorce prompted her to temporarily shift the direction of her career so that she could better respond to the needs of her children. However, it is important to remember that every family is different, and every family will have different post-divorce needs. Your situation may require different action. No matter what, we are here to help you through this transition every step of the way.