Both you and your friend have news to break to each other. At 18, your friend has finally decided between two dream universities and is headed to a choice college campus in the fall. Meanwhile, at 18, you are headed for a divorce.
You wish it were a joke, but the truth is, you and your partner have grown apart in a short amount of time, and now, you want out of the marriage. Your emotions are raw as you deal with this shocking reality in your late teens. And in the back of your mind, you worry about how your divorce will impact your future social standing.
The good news? Your life isn’t over when you get divorced in your late teen years (or at any age), even if it may feel like it. What’s more, is that you’re not alone. Here’s an overview of everything you need to know about tackling divorce in your late teen years.
Perhaps you and your partner happen to have a young child. Naturally, you may worry about how your early-in-life divorce will impact your child long-term. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your child’s well-being during the divorce process.
As much as you can, avoid arguing with the other party when your children are present. In addition, avoid using your child as a bargaining chip to obtain what you desire. This will only upset your spouse and make the divorce process more acrimonious than it needs to be.
Ideally, you and your future ex should try to create a parenting plan that satisfies you both and takes the best interests of your child into consideration. Try to create a way for both you and the other party to maintain active roles in your child’s life in the years ahead.
Dealing with Assets
As a late teen, you likely haven’t accumulated many assets. This actually works in your favour, as you and the other party may quickly come to an agreement on how to deal with assets and matters such as child custody.
In this situation, you may simply file an uncontested divorce, which means you can avoid going to court. This will make your divorce go much more quickly and cost less in the long run. An attorney can explain to you your options and what to expect during your divorce proceeding.
Coping with Finances
As a young adult, you may find yourself in a precarious financial position as you embark on the divorce process. You’ll need to come up with a plan for solidifying yourself financially following your marital breakup.
During your marriage, you might have agreed to stay home with your child while your spouse worked or pursued their high school, GED, or college degree. Going forward, however, you may need to seek employment to sustain yourself as a newly divorced individual. In addition, you may want to curb your expenses as much as possible while you figure out what your income will look like in the months following your marital breakup.
Approaching Future Relationships
Getting divorced in your late teen years can understandably be challenging from a social standpoint as well. After all, finding peers who have also been through a divorce may be difficult. In addition, you may be leery about getting into another romantic relationship again in the near future.
Remember, though, that your divorce can easily serve as the perfect learning tool for what to do or avoid in your future relationships. Resist the urge to begin dating again right away; wait until you have fully processed your feelings from the divorce and are truly ready to move on to a new relationship. Give yourself time to regain everything you love about your life without the stress of your ex: pursue education, travel, try a new hobby, spend more time with your family and friends, whatever it might be.
Navigate Your Divorce with Confidence Today
Nothing about the divorce process is easy, no matter what age you are. However, if you are in your late teens, you face unique challenges compared with your older counterparts—for instance, you have less life experience to fall back on. Still, the younger you are, the more time you have to bounce back from the divorce—and that’s a silver lining worth remembering.
Follow the above-listed tips to confidently navigate your early-in-life divorce with confidence, and remember that as you close your current chapter in life, a whole new chapter awaits you and may be more glorious than you could have ever imagined.