The aftermath of a divorce can lead to lots of emotional turmoil and stress. Regardless of the reason for a divorce, it is a difficult and arduous journey. Not only is it hard to make your way through the divorce itself, but also the steps you need to take after. One of the most important things you will need to do is reassess and reorganize your finances.
More often than not, a couple’s finances will be commingled and jointly held. One spouse generally handles the finances, making decisions as to where the money will be best invested, what accounts are better to hold on to, and what accounts should be closed. When a divorce judgment is finalized, the finances are separated, and each party must determine on their own what to with the financial assets and debts remaining in their control.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help make the process more efficient and easier.
Inventory all Income Sources and Assets
The first step is to educate yourself and to make sure you have a comfortable grasp on all of the assets you own and all of your income sources. This will help organize your accounts and to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to ensure you have the best possible financial portfolio.
Be Aware of Pending Debts
Along with your assets and income producing sources, be sure to note your debts. You may have a portion of the community debt assigned to you, and that debt will need to be paid. The first step is to assess the debt, and the monthly payment for each. Then it is prudent to create a plan or strategy as to how you will be able to pay the debt each month. If there are options to defer, it might be a good idea to look into it. If you can consolidate or need to, that might also be a worthwhile inquiry. It is also crucial to review your monthly income along with your debts, and be sure you have a plan that will not send you into collections.
Plan for Your Future
You will be the sole decision maker when it comes to how you decide to approach your financial future. If you plan to buy a home, or even better, a boat, it is in your hands alone. Prepare a plan that allows you to achieve your financial goals, and determine what you will need to get there. There are plenty of tools and professionals to help you achieve your financial goals. It is a good idea to start discussions and prepare a strategy so that you ae well on your way to reaching your goals.
Explore Additional Sources of Income
When two parties divorce, it might become necessary for either party to obtain additional sources of income. Planning for additional sources of income can help cushion the financial lifestyle change that comes when parties go from a dual income household, to a single income household. It is not a bad idea to seek additional employment opportunities. It may also be beneficial to consult with a financial planner that may be able to advise you on how to increase your investment income.
The divorce process is difficult and can leave you facing financial uncertainty. However, with the right amount of education and planning, you can make the process much more manageable, and even learn to thrive on your own.