Divorce is a hugely significant moment in a person’s life. It quite literally sets the stage for the entire second part of an individual’s life. Families split or form lines, property is divided, houses are moved out of, and finances are cut in half.
That is the theme of the post today: Finances. While anyone who has ever heard of divorce has also heard of alimony and child support, what a lot of people don’t realize is that the financial changes due to a divorce are much more drastic and much more life-altering than that.
That being said, here are some tips on how to deal now with your future post-divorce finances.
Don’t be afraid to pay alimony, and don’t be afraid to ask for alimony!
- It might seem odd that these two are together, and while it’s true that you cannot both pay and receive alimony (why would you want to?), they are both sides of the same coin. The point is that alimony serves a valid purpose; it is to help the dependent spouse transition into a self-sustaining life of their own. The first day after the judge’s gavel falls is the first day of the rest of your life, so don’t start it penniless and destitute, and don’t force the spouse you once devoted your life to to suffer the same.
Create a budget!
- This cannot be overstated. Not only is a budget always a good thing to have, but for many couples, the drop in income once the marriage is dissolved can be shocking. You need to plan out every cent that will be coming and going after you are divorced. Housing expenses won’t suddenly cut in half, and neither will utilities, insurance bills, or (most likely) food and cell phone bills. You will likely find that your monthly expenses will take up a larger chunk of your single income than they did your previous joint income. Be prepared for that, or it will quickly get on top of you.
Watch your impulse spending
- Keeping in line with the previous tip, you will probably find that your expendable income is stretched somewhat thinner once you are divorced, and as such, an impulse buy can turn from a hassle to a serious, can’t-pay-my-bills-this-month affair. The last people you want to deal with are bill collectors, so plan everything out carefully, and then be even more
Keep things as “normal” as possible for a while
- Divorce is often equated to death, and there is some wisdom there. It is as massively emotional event, even permanently scarring. It is the dissolution of something that was once a central part of your life, and it will continue to play a minor hand in events for a large part of the rest of your life. That is why you need to take a period of 6 months to a year in order to let yourself adjust. Don’t move to a new state, or switch up careers, or anything like that. Allow the emotional buildup to leave your system over time, re-acclimate to what your life will be from here on out, and try to find some peace in how things turned out.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how you live your life after a divorce, but hopefully these tips have either given you some insight, or at least given you a little push towards finding your own answers.
If you ever have any specific questions, or just need a little advice, you can always talk to a family law attorney. They are immersed in the industry, and will know the ins and outs of not only preparing for the divorce and going through it, but also how to set yourself up for the best possible post-divorce success story.