A Divorced Woman's Guide: Post-Divorce Financial Planning Tips to Prepare You for a Successful Future
If you’re a newly divorced or divorcing woman, you have a lot on your mind. You’re on an emotional roller coaster, wondering what happened, how to cope, and what to do next. Emotional considerations often take precedence when going through a divorce, and rightfully should. You may overlook practical considerations, but these practicalities are also extremely important when making plans for your post-divorce future.
While married, the family finances were probably not your responsibility alone. You may have shared responsibilities such as budgeting, financial planning, and recording with your spouse. As a newly single woman, you’re in charge of your finances. You get to decide where your hard-earned money is spent, how much is invested, and how much of it is put away for retirement, college, a new home, or a vacation trip you’ve been planning for what seems like forever.
It’s a major responsibility to take control of your finances and can be exciting and scary all at the same time. We’re here to help you take some of the fear out of handling your post-divorce finances and enjoy your new role as the boss of your personal finances. Let’s review some of the major financial considerations in divorce and how you can tackle them to achieve financial health and stability:
Post-Divorce Financial Planning
There are several steps to take to properly prepare yourself for financial independence post-divorce. Some of these are simple housekeeping items while others are more involved budgeting and planning tasks. The sooner you can start prepping and working on these tasks, the better off you’ll be in the long run. If you’re thinking about divorce, start your financial planning early. If you’re recently divorced, start as soon as you’re done reading this. Here are our top post-divorce financial planning tips to get you started:
Own Your Accounts
Accounts that directly impact your finances are many. Dig into all of the following accounts to determine whose name appears:
- • Bank
- • Investment
- • Retirement
- • Credit cards
- • Titles (home, car, all other shared property)
- • Insurance policies (auto, home, life, etc.)
- • Bills
For those accounts you previously shared with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to contact the company that administers the account and remove your ex from all accounts that you plan to manage moving forward, and yourself from those accounts of which he’ll be in charge.
Make a Post-Divorce Financial Plan
Your financial circumstances change following a divorce, sometimes drastically. You may have less income coming in, and your spending habits may be very different moving forward, making it imperative to establish a new post-divorce budget and plan for your financial future.
Use a financial inventory like this one to determine your income and expenses and then plan how much you’ll spend each month on living essentials (mortgage, car payment, food, clothes, etc.), and how much of your income is disposable.
Also, identify any investments as part of your financial inventory and make a plan to manage these investments that will be most financially fruitful in the long-term.
Enlist Help from Financial Professionals
Financial planning can be a daunting prospect, especially for a divorcing or recently divorced woman. Not only is financial planning difficult to navigate, but you probably have many competing considerations besides your finances to deal with.
Don’t bear the burden alone. There is a host of financial planning professionals ready to help, some specifically trained in helping women manage their finances following a divorce. Make sure to thoroughly research and trust whomever you choose to work with.
Following these suggestions will hopefully take some of the stress and anxiety out of the post-divorce financial planning process. For the latest advice and helpful tips for women going through a divorce, follow the Law Firm of Victoria blog!
About Law Firm of Victoria
Law Firm of Victoria is a leading law firm in Michigan representing women only in divorce and other family law issues. If you’re seeking a divorce attorney that’s well-versed in women’s rights in divorce and one who will fight for you, contact Law Firm of Victoria or give us a call at (248) 440-7495 today!