How to get a handle on your post-divorce finances
While you try to find a way to cope with the emotional realities of your divorce, you might worry about how you’re going to make ends meet when all is said and done. Sure, you’ll have access to your fair share of marital assets, and alimony and child support might be on the line, but even then, you might find yourself on shakier financial footing compared to where you stood during your marriage.
The stress of that thought can quickly become overwhelming, but you don’t have to move through the process riddled with fear. One of the keys to successfully getting through your divorce is adequate preparation. Therefore, if you want to ease some of the strain that you’re afraid you’re going to face post-divorce, then now is the time to start coming up with a plan for your post-divorce financial success.
Preparing your post-divorce finances
Although you might feel like your future is in the air and you are tempted to let the chips fall where they may, you can take control of the situation to give yourself some direction and comfort. Here are some steps that you can take to prepare yourself for life post-divorce:
- Gain a realistic perspective of your income: Before you head into settlement negotiations, you have to know what income you’ll have once your marriage is dissolved. This will give you a clear framework within which you can build the next chapter of your life and help you identify what you need to get out of your divorce.
- Track your expenses: Before knowing what you should ask for in property division and alimony, you should have a realistic idea of what debts you’ll carry and what your monthly expenditures will look like.
- Create a budget: Once you’ve got a handle on your income and your expenses, you’ll be in a position to craft a post-divorce budget. Again, you want to be realistic here so that you have a firm understanding of your financial positioning once your divorce is finalized.
- Consider alternative forms of income: If your post-divorce budget is tighter than you’d like, then you might want to think about securing a higher paying job or taking on a second job to supplement your income. This can give you the breathing room that you need to feel comfortable in your new life.
- Avoid immediate major purchases: In the aftermath of your divorce, it can be tempting to splurge on a large purchase to help ease the blow of marriage dissolution. But you should avoid these purchases until you’re financially settled in your new life and are confident that you can afford to take on such a large buy. Otherwise, you might find yourself without the financial resources you need to comfortably get by, and you might end up stuck with payments that you can’t make.
- Be a consistent saver: A lot of Americans struggle to save an adequate amount of their income. But accumulating these savings is crucial, especially in the aftermath of divorce when one trip to the hospital, a car accident, or the loss of a job can rock your financial stability. So, as you move onto the next chapter of your life, try to focus on saving so that you don’t end up in a sticky situation later on.
Develop a divorce strategy that puts you on the path to financial stability
There’s a lot of uncertainty associated with divorce. As scary as that sounds, you have to get comfortable with it if you want to maneuver through the process in a way that lands you on solid financial footing. So, if you’re ready to end your marriage, then now is the time to start thinking about how you can position yourself for the best outcome possible.