I recently read an article in The Guardian about people throwing a divorce party for their friends and family to celebrate the receipt of their Decree Absolute.
A tradition from across the pond, where it is relatively normal for individuals to celebrate the end of their relationship. You can even employ a divorce party planner, in much the same way as you employ a wedding planner when you are at the start of your journey together.
I can definitely see why some people would want to celebrate not just the end of one chapter, but the beginning of a new one, where they get to create a future based on their own needs and wants. However, this article highlighted the other side, and how such a party could impact on the ex-spouse who might not be sending out invitations to a soiree post separation.
Divorce Party Sash - click image
Is it about revenge?
Could such a party be used as one last dig at an ex-partner? Could it be a way of splitting friends, asking them to choose a side by accepting an invitation? Maybe it is a way of rubbing it in that you have moved on when your ex definitely hasn’t, which could be extremely painful. One person in the article I referred to described how her ex had purposely left an invitation at her house for her to find, together with a guest list. He also held the party at her local pub. Is this an example of emotional abuse?
On the occasions where a divorce is amicable, and both parties agree that they are better off going their separate ways, it might be a joint celebration. In which case it could be a great way to demonstrate to your friends and family that you are both ready to move on and other relationships do not need to change. But how often is this the case?
Is a party about the end being the beginning?
In my opinion, if you are not using it as a weapon to inflict pain on your ex, throwing a divorce party to celebrate your decree absolute is a way of regaining control over your situation. You are proving to yourself and everyone around you that you are ready to move forward. What other ways can you take control of your situation and look forward? What about planning your finances and building a cashflow to work towards your retirement goals.
Face your finances!
Understanding your finances in terms of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities puts you in a position of power and control. It allows you to understand your current position and take steps towards your end goals, whether that is to retire by age 60, go on a world cruise, quit your job and start your own business or help your children on the property ladder. If your ex-partner has typically managed the finances it can be extremely daunting to take the reigns and have to make decisions around your finances.
After my divorce, I met with a wealth manager to get my finances in order for the future. During my marriage, I’d never had control of anything money-wise. Speaking to an expert about things was a great learning curve. I realised that I had a pension from a job I’d had in my early 20’s which I moved and got working for me again and discussed how my future may pan out. I feel totally in control and relieved. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.Tanya – Reading
Even if you have been used to managing the money it is still difficult when your household income splits and you have to cover your outgoings on one salary. Working with a professional could help you to plan your finances in the most tax efficient way. Ensuring your assets are invested in line with your attitude to risk and showing you the steps you need to take to reach your financial goals.
So, back to the original question, what is your opinion? Is a divorce party tasteful or tacky?