It’s like your whole world has changed and you need to start your adult life all over again. A divorce can make you feel lost in many ways. But it certainly can be an opportunity to get your life moving in the right direction. A great place to begin is with the checkbook. Check out these tips to make sure you’re heading the right way.
1. Get Started Right Away
If you were a bit blindsided by your divorce (and really, who isn’t?), you may feel like you need a little time to recover from the shock. That is to say, you should take a little time to mourn. However, don’t spend so much time off that you find yourself wallowing in self-pity. The quicker you get back on your feet, the quicker you can adjust to your new life. If it seems hard to move forward, enlist the help of a trusted friend to prompt you toward the next step. Meanwhile, if you can’t seem to find that next step financially, there are professionals trained to help you.
2. Know Where You Stand
Next comes the part where your assets and wealth are divided. It’s important to do a little research to determine what the law says is rightfully yours. Not everything can be split 50/50. For example, if you earn less income than your spouse, you may be entitled to support payments to supplement your earnings.
3. Learn What You Don’t Know
Your spouse may have been the one to handle all the finances. Certainly, you will need to change that in order for you to move on. First, find out your net worth. What assets do you have? Do you have any accounts in your name? Are there accounts in both of your names? You don’t need to worry at first about whose money is whose—just find out what money is there.
4. Start Planning for the Future
Divorce is something no one wants to prepare for, so chances are you do not have a plan in place when the inevitable comes to pass. It may seem like starting over. That is to say, in many ways it is. Hopefully, you will remember how you started your financial life when you first became an adult. Therefore, a spending plan should be your first step so you can learn to live within your new means. Take account of all your current income. Create a place for any spousal support income you will receive. However, don’t rely on it as regular income in case things don’t work out as expected.
Meanwhile, you’ll also need to make adjustments to your expenses. You should find yourself needing to spend less, as you prepare meals for one fewer person in your life, use less electricity, etc. You may have moved to a smaller residence which should lower your bills. If you find you have anything left over after your expenses have been accounted for, make sure to consider the need to build up a new emergency fund.
Don’t let yourself wander in your loss. Most importantly, take control of your new life. First, start by taking control of your finances. Secondly, if you need more advice, call us at the Hopman Group today!