There’s no doubt that divorce is a highly emotional experience. But it can also be a significant financial transaction, with property division, child support, and alimony all potentially coming into play in your case. With so much at stake, then, you might worry about what your financial positioning will look like post-divorce.
This is understandable, and it’s a good thing that you’re thinking about what you can do to better protect your financial stability as you head into the next chapter of your life. With that in mind, let’s look at some steps that you can take to better position yourself post-divorce from a financial perspective.
- Be realistic about your income: Once your divorce is finalized, your household income is likely to significantly drop. You might have spousal support or child support coming in to assist, but you’re still probably not going to have the income that you’re used to. So, be realistic about the cash that you’ll have coming in and budget accordingly.
- Reconsider your living arrangements: A lot of people fight tooth and nail to keep the family home, but doing so may not be in your financial best interests. The maintenance and upkeep of the home can prove to be costly, perhaps even destroying your already tight budget. Therefore, you might want to consider downsizing and either selling the marital home or renting it out.
- Build your credit score: Without your spouse, your individual credit score is going to have more of an impact on your ability to borrow money at a lower cost. This can affect everything from taking out a mortgage and financing a car purchase to using a credit card. You can build or repair your credit by taking out small loans or a credit card and making sure that you pay off balances on time.
- Track your expenses: Now that you’re going to be living on a reduced income, it’s a good idea to get a handle on your expenses. One of the best ways to do this is to simply make yourself aware of where your money is going. Writing out your monthly expenses can be eye-opening and give you the opportunity to make cuts where you need to in order to remain financially steady.
- Check accounts: Hopefully your divorce decree absolved you of at least some marital debts. But even though you have a court order indicating that you’re off the hook for those debts, you still need to make sure that your name is taken off those creditor accounts. If you don’t, then you might find creditors calling seeking to collect on unpaid debts. This can be stressful and take a lot of time and effort to resolve.
- Seek to improve your skills: If you gave up your career or your education during your marriage in order to support your spouse or raise your children, then now may be the time for you to refocus on your marketable skills. That way you can improve your chances of obtaining a higher-paying job that puts you in a better financial position.
Making the arguments you need to put you on the path to stability
Although there’s a lot that you can do post-divorce to improve your financial positioning, your financial planning should start in the early stages of your divorce. That’s why it’s important that you know the financial implications of your marriage dissolution and how to successfully navigate them. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law can help you plan for your future and make the arguments that you need to do so.