If you’re going through a divorce, you may be wondering how you’re going to support yourself financially after it’s over. If you’re the lower income earner, or the stay-at-home parent, you’re wondering, “how much alimony can I get? Will it cover all the bills? How am I going to survive? Is it possible I’m going to be homeless?”
Consider making a complete change. That’s how I chose to become a lawyer.
I had been working at Janus for seven years, and going to school at night for my MBA. A year into the program, I would have rather swallowed live bees than take one more finance class. The subjects just did not excite me. I was also unhappy in my job and starting to feel stuck. That’s when my mom proposed the idea of changing careers completely.
At first the idea seemed preposterous. I’d put so much time into this career already. But I grabbed the Sunday paper and began trolling the Classifieds for ideas, and that’s when iI realized I could literally pick anything I wanted to do, and do it. And that’s how I chose law school. I contemplated other careers: Physical Therapist, Pharmacist … But in the end law school won because I knew I liked to do research, I liked reading about legal cases, and I was avoiding organic chemistry like Paula Patton avoids Robin Thicke.
Your fears of the financial future are justified, because you’re not necessarily entitled to financial support, and whether or not you get support depends on your unique case facts and who your judge is. Some judges are generous with the support. Others are cheapskates. But the good news is, if you’ve been the lower income earner, and want to go to school to get a degree or learn a trade, you may be able to get support to help pay for it! The courts tend to look at this decision as an investment: It’s better for the State to order the ex to help you pay for school so you can become financially independent, than have you become a potential welfare burden on the State.
So ask yourself, What am I going to do next? I went to law school with a woman in her 40’s who had just gone through a divorce. Her contentious divorce inspired her to want to become a family lawyer.
What inspires you? Or better yet, what makes you mad? And is there something you can do in that field to help others?
Your divorce is a chance to reinvent yourself. You’ve probably told your kids, “you can do anything you want.” Well, so can you! So do what I did. Explore all the possibilities, pick something that excites you, and do it.