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Downsize After Divorce: Why and How

When you are getting divorced, you know that things are going to change. As hard as it is, you are trying to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. You might even feel you are doing well at it. However, you may also find that there are things you didn’t think about. When you are getting a divorce, one of the things that you have to keep in mind is that there is a good chance you will need to downsize.

Why Should You Downsize After Divorce?

How much do you really need when you are getting divorced and after your divorce? Chances are you have a lot of items that you just don’t need that are merely taking up space. They might also be holding bad memories for you. When you take the time to downsize, you will find that you can get out from under the yoke of all of those belongings. It can help you to start to move forward with your life when you learn to let go of things from your past.

Start As Soon As Possible

After all, you will most likely be moving to a smaller place, and you are going to have a smaller household income. Even though you might only be taking half of everything with you, it doesn’t mean that it will fit—or that you will want it—in your new place.

When you are getting divorced, you will want to think about the benefits that can come from downsizing. You will find that it tends to be a good option because it can make things much easier. The sooner you start doing this the easier it is going to be.

Be Careful When Downsizing Property During a Divorce

However, you have to keep in mind the separation of your property. You can’t start selling off or giving away community property that belongs to both you and your spouse. Instead, you will want to wait until you and your spouse have settled on those community items, and you know how they will be divided—and the decree is final. Then you can get rid of them by selling them if you don’t want them.

Don’t try to sell anything that is not your separate property before you get divorced. Make sure it is separate property and not community property, too, or else you could end up in trouble with the court. For anything in question, it is usually better to wait until you have finalized or at least agreed to and settled on that part of the divorce.

Get rid of what you don’t need. While you start to downsize after divorce, chances are you don’t need as many belongings as you think. You may even find that you can sell some of the belongings and make some money along the way. Get rid of things like old clothes, old jewelry, and anything else that you don’t need and use.

Consider Finding a Place with Less Space

If you have a large home while you are married, you don’t need to have a large home after you are getting a divorce. You certainly don’t need to have the same home. Don’t become so attached to a piece of property that you end up spending a fortune trying to buy it and keep it. Don’t let your emotional attachment to the house affect whether you keep it or not. In most cases, it will be much better to ditch the marital home.

Instead, you should think about reducing the amount of space you have. Choose to buy a smaller home or a condo. Maybe choose an apartment with just one bedroom or even a studio. Of course, if you have children, this will often dictate how much space you need.

Downsize Your Spending

Not only do you need to worry about getting a smaller place and getting rid of the items you don’t need, but you also have to think about how much you are spending. Remember, you now have just one income and that needs to cover everything—rent/mortgage, food, clothing, etc.

If you are accustomed to eating out most of the time, you will want to hold off on that and learn to cook for yourself. This will help you to save a substantial amount of money each month. It could even be enough that you could even find a larger place to live if you were the type to spend a lot on eating out.

Think about all of the other areas where you are spending, as well, and consider cutting back there, as well. Perhaps you had all of the streaming services for movies and music before your divorce. Now that you have to pay for those, as well as your Internet service, you may want to cut back on a few of them.

By reducing the amount that you are spending, you will save enough money to help reduce your financial worries after divorce. You can have some extra money in the bank, so you don’t have to be concerned about not making rent or a car payment, for example.

What About Your Friends?

In addition to downsizing your belongings and spending once you are divorced you also need to think about your friends. Hopefully, you have friends that are going to stay on your side during the divorce, but the harsh reality is that this doesn’t always happen. People sometimes forget about you during the divorce, or they take your spouse’s side.

Therefore, you might want to think about downsizing your friend group. If they weren’t there for you when you needed them, maybe they aren’t worth staying friends with after all.

What Should You Focus on Doing?

In addition to your downsize after divorce, you should make it a point to do things that are good for you and healthy for you that are cheap or free, and that won’t take up too much space in the house. Getting some extra exercise is always a good idea, taking hikes, finding a new and affordable hobby, etc.

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