The divorce process can leave you facing significant emotional turmoil. But as you try to find ways to cope with the emotional realities of your situation, you also have to recognize that divorce is going to be one of the largest financial transactions, if not the largest, of your life. That can be nerve-wracking, and the uncertainty can riddle you with fear. Although that can be incredibly stressful, there are steps that you can take to financially prepare yourself for the next chapter of your life.
Tips for protecting your financial stability post-divorce
Adequate planning is one of the best ways to alleviate the stress of uncertainty. Therefore, as you prepare to head into your divorce, you’ll want to keep an eye on what you can do to protect your post-divorce finances. Here are some tips that you might find helpful:
- Get a grasp on your post-divorce income: Creating a budget is going to be a key aspect of your post-divorce stability. When you do so, you’ll want to be realistic about the amount of income that you’ll be bringing in. You can consider your current income, but you can also account for any child and/or spousal support that you anticipate collecting. Remember, spousal support or alimony pendente lite (“apl”) can be a financial lifeline during the divorce process If you feel like you’re still going to fall short, then you may need to supplement your income with a second job.
- Focus on cutting costs: Your budget might show that your debts exceed your anticipated income. If that’s the case, then one way to get your financial house in order is to find ways to cut expenses. You might be able to do that by getting rid of cable and streaming services, reducing grocery expenses, and minimizing the number of times that you eat at restaurants.
- Consider your living arrangements: Housing costs are probably your biggest expense. If your budget is tighter than you’d like, then moving to a more affordable residence might be the most effective way to get your finances under control.
- Be strategic in property division: During your divorce’s property division process, it can be easy to focus on your spouse’s pain points and those assets that will provide you with the most immediate financial relief. While you’ll need to make sure that you have stability once your divorce is finalized, you also need to pay attention to your long-term financial stability. This includes retirement accounts. If you’re older, then you might not have the working career left to rebuild retirement accounts, which means it might be better to fight for these assets than something like the family home. This is an important division and having a competent legal team in place is dire when strategizing property division.
- Be ready to argue for support: Alimony can be a financial lifeline during your time of need post-divorce, especially while you’re focusing on becoming self-sufficient. But you’re not going to be granted alimony automatically. You’re going to have to argue for it either at the negotiation table or in court. So, make sure you understand how the law on alimony fits into your case and what you can do to gather and present evidence that supports a request.
Take charge of your post-divorce financial positioning
We know you have a lot to contemplate as you navigate your divorce. But your financial stability is going to shape the quality of your life for a long-time to come. With that in mind, you should take the time you need to develop a strong legal strategy that positions you for success as you head into your divorce.