New Year's Rituals for a Fresh Start after Divorce

Whether you decided to start the divorce process this year or completed it last year, chances are, you may be ready to bid this era of your life adieu. Or maybe you'd use a different choice of words?

Don't spend your precious me-time scouring the internet for ideas. I already did that for you. Here are a few clever ways you can start the New Year off on the right foot, by saying goodbye (and maybe even good riddance?) to the past 12 months:

Write your thoughts down

For her Huffington Post article 7 Ways to Survive a Breakup, author Lora Somoza recommends writing a letter. Lora writes, "Even after the break-up, there's always a feeling of wanting to say one last thing. Or a feeling that comes up that you wish you had a chance to express. Or that perfect comeback you had wished you had said while the two of you were fighting. Well, my darling, here's your chance. You get to write him a letter. And you can write any and every little thing you've wanted to say."

The catch: After you write the letter, you're not allowed to send it. This is supposed to be a cathartic experience – not the chance to get in the last word. My personal recommendation? Burn the letter after you write it.

It's natural to equate making a fresh start with the beginning of a New Year, or when undergoing a major life change. But consider the following definitions for the term fresh start ...

Make a resolution

For The Huffington Post, writer Lindsey Ellison compiled a list of 10 New Year's Resolutions to Make After Divorce, and I think they're terrific. Her list is a great place to start if you're struggling with how to move on. From setting boundaries to journaling to why you maybe shouldn't start dating just yet, her article will help you come up with a resolution that fits your situation.

So you did it, you finally got divorced (or separated). It may have been your worst year ever, especially if you just signed the divorce papers. And now a new year is upon you, and perhaps this is the first New Year where you feel hopeful.

Cheers to your new beginning

For a lighter approach, break out the bubbly or a fancy mocktail and share a toast with a friend to say goodbye to the past year. A few silly and sarcastic toasts that may fit the bill:

  • "To alimony: man's best proof that you have to pay for your mistakes." – via Etiquette Scholar
  • "Diamonds are a girl's best friend and dogs are a man's best friend. Now you know which sex has more sense." – Zsa Zsa Gabor, via People
  • "'Tis better to have loved and lost than to marry and be bossed!" – via Etiquette Scholar



Founder, CEO & Certified Family Law Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Insights, Legal Insights
After over a decade of experience as a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mediator and law firm owner, Erin was fed up with the inefficient and adversarial “divorce corp” industry and set out to transform how consumers navigate divorce - starting with the legal process. By automating the court bureaucracy and integrating expert support along the way, Hello Divorce levels the playing field between spouses so that they can sort things out fairly and avoid missteps. Her access to justice work has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond, with awards and recognition from the likes of Women Founders Network, TechCrunch, Vice, Forbes, American Bar Association and the Pro Bono Leadership award from Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Erin lives in California with her husband and two children, and is famously terrible at board games.