Expat Life After Divorce… How to Move On and Carry On!
Sometimes life doesn't go according to plan, and divorce is one of those life events that can occur anytime, without warning, forcing you to change direction. What do you do, and how do you move on and live your best life?
As expats, we may be living in countries where we don't know anyone and rely on our spouse for support and connection. When you separate, it can seem like you have lost everything and have no one to lean on.
Her Expat Life has top tips on keeping calm and carrying on through a divorce as an expat, move on and live your most extraordinary expat life yet!
1: Take care of yourself!
You have to become your priority. What will make you happy? What can you do in the immediate to look after yourself? Join a new gym class, go on a solo yoga retreat, hang out with your friends doing something fun like hiking. Wallow constructively yet focus on the positives about living the expat life.
2: Don't Beat Yourself Up!
It's so easy to feel like a failure after getting divorced, it's not like we plan to get divorced when we get married. Give yourself time to navigate all the feelings that come after a divorce (even if you were the one who initiated the divorce). Understand that some people come into your life for a reason and a season, and take time to reflect on what you learned about yourself and life both good and bad, so that you show up better in the future.
3: Create A Positive Co-Parenting Plan
If you have children and are living across borders, in your host country, or even plan on returning to your home country (if you can), create a positive co-parenting plan with your spouse that is fair and with the children in mind. Let's face it divorce can bring out the ugly and dark side in people, especially when children are involved. Keep the focus on what is best for the children and that is to have a positive, loving relationship with both parents (unless there was actual abuse involved). Negotiate holidays, birthdays, and holiday (vacation) times in a way that is fair.
Get the plan written down on paper and have it signed and notarised by both you and your ex-spouse to have something that is a bit more official than a verbal agreement. Verbal agreements can easily turn bad if plans shift, or emotions flare over parenting issues.
4: Set Small Goals/ Form a plan
Whether it's getting a chore out of the way, going out for the evening or starting a new project at work, it will help you see and know that you're moving on.
Or perhaps it's a new city or country? Sometimes a new place is like starting over. A chance to build a new life or change career. Something to focus on away from the negativity that Divorce represents.
5: Ask for Help
Sometimes talking with a licensed therapist can guide you through the haze and help you figure out why this happened and allow you to cope without struggling independently.
6: Get Legal Support
Inter nations offer advice and guidance, as you might also need to consider legal proceedings and understand your position within your expat country as a divorced woman.
Hiring a Lawyer is an easy way to get the research you need to make sure you are safe and above board and know your rights.
7: Find a community
As an expat, we often lack a stable support system like we would have at home, and it can be hard to get through something as life-changing as a divorce alone. What do you do when mutual friends start to pick sides, or you find out that your expat friends turn flaky now that you are divorced?
Her Expat Life has a strong community of women who provide a support system of friends, expats, locals, and family who can make all the difference in having a quality and happy life abroad. At Her Expat Life, we have created a global support network of women who can offer support, advice, wisdom and guidance.