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Should You Change Your Environment after a Divorce to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing?

Divorce nearly always proves to be an emotionally challenging and even traumatic experience. When a marriage dissolution proceeding finally concludes, a party to such a case oftentimes searches for ways to improve the emotional wellbeing. These can include everything from some minor adjustments to more major changes, including altering an individual’s environment in some manner. With this in mind, the question then becomes whether or not a person should alter his or her environment in the aftermath of a divorce. There are a number of factors to take into consideration in this regard.

What Is Meant by a Post-Divorce Change of Environment?

In the end, what is meant by the term “post-divorce change of environment” can mean varying things for different individuals. More often than not, the focus of an after-divorce change of environment means something associated with where or how a person lives. Specifics in this regard are discussed shortly.

Children and a Post-Divorce Change of Environment

Perhaps nothing impacts a decision to change your environment following the conclusion of divorce proceedings than does children. In the end, a decision to change your environment, including the manner in which it is altered, is directly connected to the custody and parenting time order in place in a particular situation.

Depending on the age of your children, any environmental alteration – even moving to a different house in the same general vicinity of the marital residence – can be challenging for a young person. Moving to a completely different city let alone another state may be out of the question if there are minor children involved in a case.

The matter of children in the lives of a divorced couple is governed by a New Jersey legal standard. This is what is known as the best interests of a child standard. In other words, even if you think a post-divorce change of environment is to your benefit, it may not be in the best interests of your child or children.

Examples of Post-Divorce Changes of Environment

There exists a myriad of different types of after-divorce changes of environment that can prove beneficial in some circumstances. The most fundamental of these environmental alterations as a means of enhancing a person’s sense of wellbeing following a divorce is taking up residence in a different home. An even more profound alteration of the environment is packing up and moving to a new community. There are other changes between and associated with these two ends of a broad environmental spectrum.

Incremental Adjustments in Lieu of a New Environment

Rather than a wholesale change to or creation of a completely new environment, there is an array of more incremental alterations that can bring an enhanced sense of wellbeing following the end of a marriage. Examples of such less significant life alterations include:

  • Update your wardrobe
  • Participate in a new hobby, activity, or learning experience
  • Consider dating/create an online dating profile
  • Travel

The list of what you might consider doing as an incremental “change of your scene” virtually is endless.

An Old Adage: You Cannot Run From Your Problems

When considering an environmental change following your divorce, you need to keep in mind that you “cannot run from your problems.” A new environment can be a tool to aid you in developing greater emotional wellness. However, while a new environment can be a tool towards greater life satisfaction it cannot replace addressing and dealing with issues that may arise during and after the end of your marriage. Indeed, you may even want to consider seeking professional assistance from a counselor or therapist to help you address issues that you may find yourself facing.

Avoid Spite-Driven Environmental Changes

Finally, don’t make environmental changes that are spite driven. In other words, don’t decide to do something like move into a new home as a means of “getting back at” your spouse. Doing so only perpetuates negative emotional aspects associated with the end of a marriage relationship. If you need legal assistance for your divorce, contact us at (201) 845-7400.

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