Getting Your Financial Life Back On Track After Divorce

PurseI 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.

AnswerUnfortunately, “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.

Stash cash
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.

10 thoughts on “Getting Your Financial Life Back On Track After Divorce”

  1. I just came across this website for the first time and what a blessing it is…..I’m feeling very lost & defeated but always feel like a Warrior. I’am recently divorced after 20 years of verbal & emotion abuse. I’am on Social Security disability since 2001 & I receive alimony. I’am in terrible debt and don’t know what to do and where to start. All that I do know is that I thank God everyday that I am a strong and positive empath but very worn out!!!! I want nothing more than to become the woman I know I’m suppose to be but have been unable to because of my troubled marriage. It’s time for me to shine. I feel it deeply but I don’t know where to start. I have a hard time asking for help when there are millions of people in this world who have way less than myself. I don’t like to say I’m scared but I really am when it comes to my financial situation. I’m hoping to attend the next divorce workshop but I was hoping you could help with your thoughts so I don’t feel so lost & in debt over my head….Thank you for who are & all that you do. You two ladies are a BLESSING.

  2. , post-divorce I am legally harassed…you wouldn’t believe it…my ex-husband has kept us tied up in court for 4 years post divorce, and the legal fees associated with this have me on the verge of bankruptcy…he won’t let up, he has had the original judgment of divorce altered 4 times since we signed the paper in 2011

    I was a stay at home mom, when he left, had to find work immediately, in order to keep my home (for our two daughters) I had to forgo alimony and pay my ex-husband

    he is a 15 year tenured public school teacher, in the nys retirement system

    I make $14 per hour with no benefits, no health insurance, no paid time off, no retirement

    I do make enough to pay my monthly bills, but I am now almost two months behind, simply because I cant get caught up, catch my breath, and get ahead with all of the legal hassles I have to hire my attorney to handle…

    I am always $2,000 away from either being completely caught up, or bankrupt (depends on whether your glass is half full or empty)

    Are they any services out there to help women like me? I don’t qualify for govt. anything…I just need a little help getting caught up and ahead. Are there any private women’s organizations that will provide temporary financial assistance?

  3. Pingback: How To Save Money After A Divorce - DontPayFull

  4. My ex and I have 50% custody over my 15 year old daughter. He has decided suddenly that he is too poor to pay for 50% of her needs and activities. Now, when she takes a class over summer, gets her hair cut, or goes to the doctor, he says, “I can’t afford that. You’ll have to pay for it all.”

    He is a business man who used to pull down $150k a year. But with the recession and with other emotional factors (I am imagining,) he has had very random jobs for the last 9 years of our divorce. I am just a school teacher, and do not make that much money but he now wants to have a financial “conversation” with me.

    He has threatened to take me back to court so I have to pay him alimony.

    Please advise!

    1. In most states child support is based on your income, his income, and the percentage of time the child spends with each parent. Spousal support is often based on a number of different factors, including the earning ability of the supported spouse. Ask your attorney to tell you what the rules are for support in your state.

      1. Hi,
        My ex is supposed to see our child 25%. He sees her 7-8 percent. Has been paying temp. Child support and some years never sees her period. He took me back to court for the dependency tax form 8332. My question is, 1) on the tax order, it says I am to sign the 8223 form. Since the form number on the order is wrong, am I still liable? 2) Since he sees our daughter MAYBE 20-30 over nights a year, can he claim her every other year? He makes $55k more a year than I do. I pay for everything! He just pays child support. Thanks

  5. Question:
    I signed a prenup that says I have no interest in husbands two homes. He has a preexisting living trust.
    Now he needs major medical attention in the near future. Will the medical bills come to me or will they be paid out of his properties ?
    -thanks 🙂

    1. I imagine that his medical bills for his care will be paid from whatever funds he has available to him. If you have specific questions about the terms of your prenup and whether it affects this situation, I urge you to consult your attorney for specific guidance.

  6. I have a couple of friends who got divorce and decided to focus their energy on starting a business. One of them is a millionaire now. You never know…

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