I have just been through a divorce, and I feel as though I’ve been through the wringer. I have a great therapist who is helping me through the emotional aftermath, but I don’t know where to begin to get my financial life back on track.
Unfortunately, “splitting the sheets” also means splitting the assets and splitting the income. Here are five steps to get back on the road to financial recovery.
Divorce is a financial drain. After divorce, you will need time to rebuild financial resources. Begin now to squirrel away funds that will be available for emergencies, vacations, etc. Those funds will see you through tough times, and nothing rebuilds security like that good green poultice “cash.”
Separate money and emotion
As you work through your grief and anger and mourn lost dreams, don’t let money issues cloud your perspective. Life may not be fair, but don’t descend into depression with each check you write or re- ignite your anger if your support check comes late. Accept your financial situation, know your legal remedies, and pursue them with dogged detachment.
Focus on finances
It’s hard to be optimistic about a shaky financial future. If you are disoriented financially, this is the right time to get a grip on your financial life. Sharpen your pencil and get busy creating new financial plans for your future. Once you know where you are going, you can look forward to the future rather than back to the past.
Get your career in gear
If your career opportunities are not what you would like, get off your duff and make some changes. You are beginning a new life, and it’s time to move ahead rather than wallowing in the past. Take some courses, prepare a resume, explore the opportunities in the marketplace. Turn around, fact the future, and barge ahead. You’ll be surprised what you can do.
Tie up loose ends
Get your financial house in order. Rewrite your will, change the beneficiaries on your insurance policies, review your retirement plan documents, clean out your financial closet and get rid of worn out investments. Straighten your files and square things away. You can’t move ahead if you are tripping over your financial shoelaces.