You may think your finances are comfortable now, but if you are heading for divorce, you may also be heading for a whole new way of thinking about money. Divorce is one of the surest ways to wreck your finances, often because those going through the process do not understand the ramifications of dividing their incomes and assets in half.
Fortunately, in the time leading up to your divorce, you can take some steps to reduce the chances that you will struggle when you are single again. As distracted as you may be by the emotional issues involved in your marriage breakup, you may have to set those aside and focus on your future if you hope to remain financially stable in your post-divorce life.
Wake up to your new reality
When you think of divorce logically, it makes sense that you would have to make some changes in your thinking about money, at least in the immediate aftermath of the divorce. You will have your own household to manage on a single income, and you may even have to repurchase certain items your spouse obtains through property division. You may have to find a better paying job and simplify your standard of living for a while. Meanwhile, you can take the following steps to prepare yourself:
- Create a budget based on your post-divorce income. This will be the most important tool to help you remain solvent in the years to come.
- Reassess your insurance needs, including home, life and health. You may not need as much as a single person, or you may need to purchase policies if you previously used your spouse’s.
- Learn how your divorce will affect your taxes, especially if you are paying or receiving spousal support or if you intend to seek complex assets in the divorce.
- Evaluate your retirement plan so you can begin to rebuild what you may have to divide in the divorce. You may need to shift your focus or postpone leaving work.
- Make sure all your financial documents reflect your new status, such as changing your insurance beneficiaries, powers of attorney and estate planning designations.
These are only a few of the steps you can take to secure a stable financial future. Your Texas attorney can help you with these and other ways to reach your goals. This includes fighting for your full and fair share of marital assets during property division.