When people go through a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is always finances. They worry about the cost of the divorce, but there are often other pressing financial matters, as well. Many will wonder how thriving financially after divorce is possible.
If both of the spouses were working, they will now have to survive with just a single income after divorce. In cases where only one of the spouses was working before, it means that the person who wasn’t working will have to find a source of income, and they can’t always rely on spousal support. It’s frightening for just about everyone.
Often, however, it’s women in divorce who tend to have the biggest struggles here. It’s not necessarily only those who spent years staying at home being a housewife and raising the children, either. Even those who were and are working may not be as up-to-date on all of the financial affairs in the household as they should be. While it’s not the case in all marriages, of course, very often men will handle investments, know what’s in their retirement accounts, etc.
The Ideal Situation
Ideally, everyone will have a better idea of what the finances look like in the marriage including investments, properties, etc. Even knowing how much you have in assets and how much you have in debts can help. It will give you an idea of your net worth, and even tracking that number each quarter or each year can be a major benefit. It will allow people to feel more empowered.
However, that’s not always the case. You can’t go back in time and change the way you look at your finances. This can lead some to worry about what’s going to happen to them and that money when they are getting divorced. What can be done now? Fortunately, there are still things you can do.
When Considering Divorce
It’s often women who are the ones that opt to file for divorce, and it’s rarely a decision that’s made on a whim. Instead, it’s something that’s brewed for a while, often for a couple of years in many cases. Those who are considering getting a divorce, before they have filed the paperwork or when they file, will want to find out what you have. It requires some data gathering to discover what retirement and investment accounts are there, the name of the investment advisor if you don’t know, the amount that’s in the savings account and bank accounts, the tax returns, etc.
The goal is to make a list of what’s there. What are the assets and debts? This can help to give you a better idea of what will be there after divorce and what you will have available to work with. There may also be child support and spousal maintenance, but those are things that you shouldn’t always count on, as it may not be as much as you think it will be. Know what you definitely have.
For those who do not have much knowledge about finances, this can feel overwhelming. In those cases, it’s often in your best interest to speak with a financial specialist that can look over the documentation and help. Working with an attorney will be beneficial, as well. It can allow you to uncover things you might not have known about, making your goal of thriving financially after divorce much easier.
Think About What You Will Be Doing After Divorce
When you get divorced, things change and priorities might have to change, as well, depending on your finances. Will you need to get a job? Do you think that going back to school and getting an education for a new career is a better option? Do you want to continue staying at home with the kids? Depending on their ages, this could be more affordable than daycare.
However, it’s not often feasible because there likely needs to be some income that goes beyond child support, savings, etc. This is especially true in the long term. If you aren’t going to work, will the assets that you have after divorce be capable of supporting that lifestyle?
Where Will You Live?
One of the big questions that you will have to ask is whether you are going to be keeping the house after you get your divorce. Many times, women will want to keep the house because they don’t want to disrupt the lives of their children any more than necessary. However, if they are not the primary wage earner, it doesn’t make sense for them to try to keep the marital home. Even if there is not a mortgage, the cost of upkeep might be too much.
Sometimes, it’s better to sell the home and split the profit, which can then be used for expenses, finding a new place to live, and investment. Rather than buying a new home right away, it might be better to rent for a while or to find a cheaper home to buy if that’s possible. In some cases, it might be a good solution to stay with family and friends until you are back on your feet and have your finances under control.
Put Your Mind More at Ease with a Plan
It’s important to think about all of the different things mentioned above in the article, so you can start to put together a plan for your finances after divorce. You want to know what your new life will look like and make sure that you are set financially. It’s important to remember that your life after divorce will not look like your life before the divorce. This is okay. Sometimes, divorce is the best option and it can put you on the path to greater things and more independence.
Working with a financial professional can help you learn more about your finances, so you will have a better idea of what you can afford for housing, food, and other expenses. They can help to ensure that you have knowledge of all of the assets in the marriage, so you have equal footing for thriving financially after divorce.