While there is plenty of advice out there about separation and divorce, very few articles address the unique circumstances that can come with going through a divorce as a very young adult. However, those divorcing in their early 20s are in a unique situation that deserves to be discussed. Many West Virginia individuals who go through a divorce at this young age feel alone, as many of their friends may not yet even be married. Here are a few tips that can help young people in this situation deal with ending a marriage and move forward:
- Do get a handle on finances: Between college loans, mediocre starting salaries and the cost of the divorce itself, many young divorcees can find themselves with a some financial concerns when they call it quits. The good news is that young people have a lot of life left to “bounce back” from any damage done. But, in order to do that, it is important to know exactly what the situation is, including any debt, bad credit and other financial obligations inherited from the marriage. This can be uncomfortable, but ultimately, it will help build a plan for moving forward.
- Don’t try to go it alone: Many couples who marry young are used to relying almost solely on their spouse for companionship. Groups of friends are likely shared, and it can feel very lonely to try to build a new life by oneself. However, trying to go through something so stressful alone is almost always a mistake. Think outside the box to build a support system; chat with online groups, find new activities to make friends, reconnect with family and/or consider therapy if needed.
- Do get excited about the future: Although something has ended with a divorce, many new things are also beginning. It’s okay to feel excited about not being stuck in a marriage that wasn’t working. It’s even more okay to find things to look forward to moving forward. Although there is a grieving process with every divorce, finding moments of hope can be key to moving on.
Young people have unique circumstances when it comes to the legal matters of their divorces. Many have young children, which can make child custody and support a hot-button issue. Housing and shared debt are other common issues that arise. It is important to discuss these issues and concerns with a West Virginia family lawyer in order to facilitate a fair divorce that allows each party to truly move forward.