Managing Finances After Divorce
Many people are unhappy with their marriages but are afraid to file for divorce because of one main reason: finances. The thought of surviving on your own with just one income can be scary. If you only work part-time or don’t have a job at all, it can be even more frightening to think about divorce.
Even those who have good jobs may struggle after a divorce. A divorce splits one household into two, and it takes more money to support two households. If a divorce is in your future, you may be worried. However, millions of people have divorced and survived. You can too, with these tips for managing finances after divorce.
Create a Budget
You’ll need to be even more aware of your income and expenses once you’re on your own. You can’t rely on your spouse to contribute to the bills any longer. Even if he or she is ordered to pay child support or alimony, don’t count on these sources of income. Keep in mind that you may not be able to maintain your previous lifestyle, you may have to look for ways to cut back, at least temporarily. Track and document every dollar you spend, as well as every paycheck. You can use a simple spreadsheet, but there are also tons of apps available that can help.
Close Joint Accounts
Staying on the same bank or credit card account as your ex-spouse is a recipe for disaster. If he or she decides to go on a spending spree and run up the charges, you could be held liable for repayment. This can not only complicated the divorce, but also ruin your credit score. Close these accounts as soon as you decide to divorce. Open new accounts in your name only.
Maximize Asset Division
Don’t try to hurry through the divorce process just to get it over with. By doing so, you may miss out on assets that can help you in retirement. For example, your ex-spouse may have pensions and accounts you don’t know about. Work with your lawyer or a financial planner to ensure you receive all the assets you are entitled to receive. Many people leave thousands of dollars on the table after a divorce, and this hurts them tremendously.
Even if you want to keep the family home, a lack of finances can make it impossible. Buying or renting a smaller home is more feasible in the first few years after a divorce. As you get back on your feet and establish credit, you can consider upgrading.
Contact a Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today
A divorce can be financially draining. Very few people come out ahead. Be prepared for a drop in income and plan ahead for unexpected expenses. By understanding your income and assets, you can survive a divorce.
Many people end up struggling financially after a divorce. Don’t become a statistic. Get help from a Columbia divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We can guide you through the process and help you find financial experts who can help. We have two offices to serve you. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987.