You should expect divorce to change your life in many ways, including your financial circumstances. And despite the fact that things will never be the same, you’re positioning yourself to better enjoy the future.
It’s the questions you answer up front that will impact how well you navigate the divorce. Here are five of the most important:
- Are you familiar with your assets and debts? For example, if you have valuable marital assets, such as real estate and bank accounts, turn your attention to the ins and outs of property division.
- Where will you live? Some people want to stay in their family home, while others would much rather move on and start fresh. There are pros and cons of every approach, but you should have a clear understanding of where you’ll live post-divorce.
- Do you have a new budget? Don’t expect your budget to be the same after your divorce is behind you. You only have one income to rely on, as well a new set of expenses. The sooner you create a budget, the sooner you can determine which areas, if any, require your attention.
- Are you eligible for child support and/or alimony? Both of these have the potential of changing your financial circumstances for the better. For example, if you’re in line to receive child support, you’ll have access to money that can help maintain stability for your children. Conversely, if you’re required to pay either child support or alimony, take this into consideration when budgeting.
- Have your short and long-term financial goals changed? The answer is probably yes, so review your new goals and create a plan for meeting them. You still have plenty of time to chase down any goal that’s on your radar. It may simply require a new approach.
There’s a lot to think about as you plan for and move through the divorce process, but your finances should always move near the top of your priority list.
Future financial stability is based largely on the decisions you make today. Answer the questions above, implement a plan of action and take any steps you can to protect your legal rights.