The American Psychological Association (APA) reveals that an overwhelming 90% of U.S. men and women marry by age 50. Unfortunately, not all of those marriages last. There is a silver lining, however.
While the overwhelming narrative among friends and family may be that divorce is a bad thing, that is not always the case. In fact, there are several, distinct advantages of ending an unhappy marriage. Here are just a few.
1. Financial Freedom
Nearly half of all couples–48%–argue about money. Following divorce mediation, signing the papers, and finalizing your divorce, you have the freedom to do whatever you would like with your money. The onus of making financial decisions with your spouse no longer exists.
What kinds of financial freedom should you expect? First, if your partner had a habit of spending too much or investing unwisely, relax. You’re on your way to disentangling yourself from their bad habits. A full “21% surveyed saw the chance to find financial freedom from their ex’s financial mistakes as yet another positive change arising from their divorce,” according to The Financial Diet. Plus, a divorce gives you full freedom to decide whether you would like to continue working at the same job or change careers without burdening another person.
2. More Funding For College
When applying for financial aid, parents only have to list the custodial parent’s income and assets. According to divorce attorneys, this can actually end up significantly benefiting your child. There are perfectly legal ways to list the absolute minimum income of a custodial parent, giving your child the greatest chance at receiving more financial aid for their college education. This boost can greatly impact your child’s future given that the average cost of in-state college in 2019-2020 was $10,116 and out-of-state and/or private institutions charged as much as $36,801, according to U.S. News.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does require parents to list child support payments. Work closely with a lawyer to determine what is and isn’t required on the application.
3. Reclaiming Old Friendships
The popular adage that you find out who your friends are during difficult times holds true–especially when it comes to divorce. While many people neglect friendships to devote time to their spouse and children, divorce frees up your schedule to reinvest in old friendships. After divorce, it is particularly wise to nurture friendships with individuals who lift your spirits, boost your confidence, listen nonjudgmentally, and actively encourage you to stay busy. Plus, look for new friendships at exercise programs, art classes, or spiritual gatherings (whether that means church, a meditation group, or yoga for you).
4. You’re In Store For Greater Happiness
Lingering in an unhappy marriage takes its toll on your mental health. Similarly, getting out of it often entails an emotional release, one that can significantly buoy your well-being.
As an added bonus, research suggests that your next marriage will be markedly happier and more fulfilling than your first. Only 31% of second marriages end in divorce, compared to 45 to 50% of first marriages. How likely are you to marry again? Studies show that the overwhelming majority of divorcees will remarry in just three years.
5. Your Physical Health Can Improve
Prolonged stress negatively impacts your mental health–and your physical health. According to WebMD, an average, healthy person produces proteins that help reduce inflammation and promote healing. In a study, people in unhappy marriages failed to produce this protein anywhere near the regular rate. This put these people at risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and depression.
Getting a divorce can make you happier, healthier, friendlier, and wiser. Psychology Today suggests it can even make you a better person, too. Divorcees are more likely to volunteer, more likely to offer advice and/or a kind ear to friends and family in need, and more likely to help friends with necessities, like moving or getting a ride to the airport.
Don’t tough it out. Talk to a divorce lawyer about your options today.