Tips for Handling Your Finances After a Divorce
March 19, 2018
A divorce can be devastating in many ways. You can be left physically, emotionally, and financially drained. Your goal is to recover as soon as possible and get on with your new life. That life may or may not include children. Despite that, if you find yourself broke after a divorce, you must soon take the steps necessary before the situation worsens. Besides all the feelings that you must be dealing with (anger, fear, insecurity, self-doubt, no trust, diminished self-esteem, feelings of unattractiveness, unhappiness …) feelings of financial despair will add to your stress and hinder your emotional recovery. It is important to address your financial picture as soon as you can, even when you are dealing with all the above-mentioned feelings and the feelings of children involved. You must take care of yourself first, to be able to help your kids deal with the trauma of a divorce.
Accepting the reality and the feelings attached to it will help you recover faster. Pay attention to your feelings and deal with them one by one. View them as normal, and get any help that you may need. If you are experiencing strong feelings of fear or suicidal thoughts, it is imperative that you seek the help of a professional. Use community free resources if you are not able to pay for one.
Deal with your financial picture as soon as you are able. Sit down and assess all the assets left after the divorce, as well as any income coming to you. Next, take a good look at your liabilities and expenses, and include any expenses that you know will be in your near future. If you discover a not so good and gloomy financial picture and feel that you do not have the resources to survive it, then you must enlist the help of a financial planner. Use some of the money that you have right now to get one or two consultations with a planner. Bring all your information and explain your situation as clear as you can. Tell him/her to draw a simple plan that you can follow to get you going until you are in better shape to come back for more advice. Realistically, you will not be able to get into a deep financial plan right now, just one to help you handle your immediate situation. If you know of any free resources or family members or friends who are in this field, see if you can get a discount from them before utilizing someone outside your circle. Right now, you have to make the most of what you have.
Once you have your initial financial plan in place, follow it, and do what is necessary to accomplish those goals. If there are other members in your household, such as kids or teenagers, simply explain to them any changes that you may have to do around to keep the family afloat. Reassure them so they do not panic, and inform them of this temporary situation. It will be easier for you if they are on board with the plan. They will also feel good about contributing any ideas.
Focus on your plan one day at a time, as it may feel like a daunting task in the beginning. The important issue is that you keep your focus. Once you have achieved those goals, return to a financial planner to make a long-term plan for you and your family. By feeling in control of your finances, you will be reducing and managing the stress after a divorce, a lot better.