10 Practical Tips to Make Divorce More Tolerable

Navigating the divorcing process is easier with a little help along the way.

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On the hierarchy of horrible experiences, divorce is right up there, especially if you are the recipient of the bad news and were unaware of how unhappy your spouse was.

Unfortunately, divorce is a reality for approximately 50% of all first marriages, according to the American Psychological Association (opens in new tab) — and the percentage of second and third marriages ending in divorce is even higher.

A divorce is not just the loss of a partner and maybe even a co-parent. It is the end of the hopes and dreams of building a loving relationship with someone you care deeply about. It is normal to feel depressed. Depression can manifest itself in a variety of ways, both physically and emotionally. Some people gain weight, while others lose weight. Some cannot can’t get out of bed, while others go to extremes by becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol. Depression, although understandable, can make a terrible situation even worse.

When I co-wrote the book He Said: She Said: A Practical Guide to Finance and Money During Divorce (opens in new tab), with my late husband, Herb Shapiro, he used to say, “Divorce is a death without a body.” Divorce is the death of a relationship and consequently a way of life.

With that in mind, here are 10 practical tips to get through this transition.

Written by Barbara Shapiro, president of HMS Financial Group (opens in new tab) in Dedham, Mass. She is a CFP®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a Financial Transitionist®. Her firm specializes in comprehensive financial planning with a subspecialty in divorce that assists clients' transition from marriage to independence with peace of mind and confidence.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC (opens in new tab) or with FINRA (opens in new tab).

Securities and Advisory Services offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser and Member FINRA/SIPC. HMS Financial Group and Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. are separate entities.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Barbara Shapiro, CFP®, CDFA®, CeFT
President, HMS Financial Group

Barbara Shapiro is the President of HMS Financial Group located in Dedham, Mass. She is a CFP®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a Financial Transitionist®. She is also co-author of "He Said: She Said: A Practical Guide to Finance and Money During Divorce." Her firm specializes in comprehensive financial planning with a subspecialty in divorce that assists clients' transition from marriage to independence with peace of mind and confidence. Learn more at HMS-Financial.com (opens in new tab).