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Mistakes people often make after a divorce

Divorce can be difficult, but don't make the whole process harder than it has to be. The way you respond to it defines what your future looks like. Even if your spouse ended a marriage that you did not want to end, you can bounce back and work toward a positive future. You just need to know what mistakes to avoid.

With that in mind, here are a few things people tend to do and how you can avoid them:

1. They spend too much time alone

When you're alone, it's too easy to dwell on what happened and how it was out of your control. You build it all up to be worse than it really is. You need that support network. You need people who can keep you from thinking too much and who can be there for you when you need to talk.

Do not be afraid to reach out to friends and family members. If you need to, seek out new hobbies and try something that always interested you, like traveling or exercise, but that you never had time for. If you work to improve your life, it helps you move forward.

2. They take up distracting vices

You may feel like you need a distraction, but be careful with what you choose. Many people wind up drinking too much, wasting money on consumer goods that they don't need or even using illegal drugs -- or abusing legal ones. They turn to different vices to pass the time and take their mind off of the divorce. Again, your support network is important here. If you have people and hobbies that you love to fill your time, you're less likely to turn to these more destructive activities.

3. They start dating immediately

You may feel like you need a new relationship to get over the old one. Maybe you want to find a new partner -- you wanted to stay married, after all -- quickly because of your age. Maybe you're just on the rebound.

Jumping into a new relationship right away can be a problem. You may think you're ready when you're not. It isn't fair to you or your new partner, who had nothing to do with your past.

Though there is no actual rule here and you need to do what is right for you, many experts advise taking a year off from dating for every five years of your marriage. So, if you were married for just five years, you can take one year off. If you stayed married for 15 years, you need three years off before dating again.

Your rights

It's important to remember your rights, both during and after divorce. If you need to modify your divorce agreement or take other such steps, you do have legal options.

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Hecht Family Law
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Alpharetta, GA 30004

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