UK: Survive And Thrive – How To Manage And Move On From Your Divorce

Last Updated: 6 July 2018
Article by Suzanne Kingston


In the early days

Acknowledge where you are

Divorce is widely recognised as being one of the most stressful life experiences there is. Whether you have made the decision to end the marriage unilaterally, together, or your partner has made the decision, becoming 'single' may be a seismic shift in your personal situation.

It can affect your status, identity and your hopes for the future. The extent of this change should not be understated and it is important to seek whatever support you may find helpful at this difficult time.

Don't rush

It's easy to make rash decisions if you are feeling vulnerable, guilty, under attack or if you feel responsible for letting someone else down. Take time and consider carefully any important decisions.

Review your financial arrangements

If you haven't had any input into the financial management of funds during your marriage, you will need to take a look at your current situation. You may need to put in place interim arrangements to ensure necessary expenses can be met.

Protect your privacy

Separation and divorce can be a distressing time and you may want to consider how to maintain a sense of privacy – if that is important to you.

Next steps

Look after yourself

Make the time to do the things that help you unwind – whether it is exercise, reading, seeing friends. Make sure you continue to do those things.

Surround yourself with positive people

Friends and family can provide a vital support network, and you may be surprised who comes to the fore when life is difficult.

Offload onto someone you don't know

Don't underestimate the power of speaking to someone who will not judge you and who will treat what you say as confidential. Ideally this would be a therapist or counsellor trained in family and marriage breakdown.

Use your professional advisers wisely

For example ask your lawyer how to get the best out of them.

Take a step back

Choose the best process for you

Once the dust settles take time to consider what might best help you. It's important to get this right, as the way in which you choose how your separation is managed (whether through solicitors, with the help of a mediator, lawyers working collaboratively or using an arbitrator) may impact on how you remember this time in the future and how you manage your levels of stress and uncertainty.

Think a year from now

Sometimes it helps to think about the future, your hopes, objectives and how you would like life to be for you (and your children) say a year from now.

Future priorities

Write down your priorities for the future and check these against decisions you make in the process. It may be tempting to respond in a tit for tat fashion but it's often not helpful. It increases your legal costs and it's important to ask yourself whether it's really getting you to where you want to be or just creating a side show that is draining your emotional resources?

Telling the children

Vary your approach

The approach and the words you use will be different for each child, depending on their individual personalities and age. Tailor our advice to meet the needs of each of your children – you know them best.

Honesty is the best policy

Be as honest as you can without involving the children in the detailed reasons for the separation.

Trying for a joint approach

If you can't agree how to do it or what to say – write down your most important points. Then try to find any that you can both agree on as a starting point for further discussion. It can also help talking to a family consultant about how you both might best tell your children what has happened. The family consultant will discuss with you words and phrases that might be helpful for your children to hear and anticipate any questions they may have.

Clarity is key

Provide clear, straightforward explanations about what is happening and what to expect. Clear boundaries and a structure for their daily and weekly routine that will remain in place, notwithstanding all the changes, will help the children feel emotionally safe. If you don't have all the answers, reassure them by telling them you're sorting it out between you.

Avoid criticism

Try not to argue in front of the children and make sure you avoid conflict in their presence. Children frequently identify themselves as being made up of 50% of one parent and 50% of the other. When you criticise the other parent, they not uncommonly experience this as a criticism of that part of themselves.

Emotion is to be expected

Acknowledge their feelings. They are likely to feel sad, unhappy, scared. This is normal. If you can summarise what they say to you, it helps them to feel you are listening.

Do not create divisions

It is also normal for them to feel a conflict of loyalties. Children need your permission to enjoy time with their other parent as well as with you.

Welcome questions

They will have questions – respond to these as sensitively as you can as they come up rather than overloading them with too much information at the outset. This is a journey for all of you.

The future

A new normal

You will not be in this place forever, although it can be difficult to imagine. Once the divorce is settled you're likely to find a new normal and a renewed equilibrium. Focus on opportunities that you may not have previously considered.

New future, new goals

Write down your personal goals for the next 5, 10 and 15 years. The world can be your oyster.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions