Getting through a divorce financially
Getting through a divorce is like entering an unexplored part of your life, full of insecurity and anxiety. Yes, we’ve all been alone before, but it is not the same as finding yourself alone again after five, ten, twenty, or even fifty years of marriage. While being afraid of this change is a perfectly normal reaction, our anxiety before this new stage of life is not caused only by our emotions. In today’s capitalistic society money issues are the root of every pressure, and the gut - wrenching experience of a divorce is not an exception.
The House That You Built
There are a lot of women who marry young and have children soon after, plunging into a role of home mom. Instead of investing your time and energy into your own career, you’re helping your husband to build his. But that’s okay because you’re a family. You’re building your new life together where everything has its place and everyone has a certain role, just like in the famous nursery rhyme ‛The House That Jack Built’. Building your new life is an extremely cumulative process where the boundaries of individual personalities become pretty hazy. It is sufficient to say that private possessions also become intertwined. So, when the foundations of your married life start to shake and this tremor catches you completely by surprise you could easily fall into a financial black pit. But you need to keep in mind that this is only a transition. The only thing that irreversibly changes is your marital status. Your personality and your capabilities are still there, and it’s time to put them to use.
The Tremor Within
Although it’s very hard to recover emotionally after a divorce unless you can acquire a stable financial footing, this process needs to evolve vice versa at the same time. While the feeling that the person you’ve spent a great part of your life with has turned into a complete stranger can hit you by surprise, often a divorce appears on the horizon much earlier in the form of a deep dissatisfaction. When that happens it is very important to react fast and prevent the explosion of the emotions within. It is perfectly normal to experience fear and anger, but only reason and logic can get you through the storm before you end up in the financial wreckage. The wisdom that pleasure and business don’t mix here gets an additional dimension - the pleasure becomes the pain and the divorce turns the marriage into a strictly business area. In order to keep your head out of the water, you need to cool it down, first.
Acquire Allies, Not Tricksters
The first thing you need to realize is that you can’t do it alone. And we’re not talking about your soon - to - be - ex - partner. Man can usually take care of themselves, mainly because they know they’re gonna get a divorce before their wives even realize something is wrong. So they usually prepare in advance by opening secret bank accounts and hiding assets. Women are the ones who believe until the end, which makes the thorough preparation impossible.
If you had a full - time job during your marriage, the financial situation afterward doesn't have to be that critical. But if your partner was the one climbing the professional leader while you had the supporting role, the sole fact that you haven’t build your own career puts you at a great disadvantage. You might have been the one crunching the numbers, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you have the right financial skills to deal with all the complexities of the divorce. Looking from the legal aspect, the divorce is one giant bureaucratic maze where a professional guide is mandatory.
Of course, every living lawyer and adviser on this earth is aware of this fact, and they often use it to their own advantage, making the actual result secondary. That’s why it is very important to find a trusted and experienced professional who can guarantee a result for your bucks, following a great example of Australian Family lawyers with their ‛no win, no fee policy’. That way you’ll be certain that the legal matters will be taken care of and you’ll be free to deal with creating the strategy to support yourself. Don’t be ashamed to ask around for the advice from someone who has already been through the divorce - word of mouth is often the best recommendation.
The DIY List
Even when you find the right professional help, your job is far from done. Experienced lawyers and advisors will show you the way, but you’ll need to tidy up some things before they go to work. It all comes down to a couple of do - it - yourself tasks in order to reestablish your personality.
• Who you are
The first stop is reclaiming your identity. Look at it as a process of remembering who you really are. Everything begins with the name, so you need to change it on bonds and stocks, house deeds, and car titles. Check if you are both listed on your loans. Is your spouse a beneficiary on your life insurance policy or in your will? If he is, change it and update your will. You need to gather all the paperwork and make copies. Do a research about the things you’re not familiar with because your husband was handling them, such as mortgage and bank accounts. Close all the joint accounts, and don’t forget about the credit. Get credit cards in your own name, notify creditors about your new marital status and immediately pull your credit report.
• What you own
Now to some counting. First, you need to see how much money you have in savings, on hand or invested. But you also need to be aware of all the debts and loans - in spite of the fact they’re joined you’ll still be responsible until they’re all cleared up. What follows is the negotiation phase about other assets. Although your partner might have prepared things in advance, that doesn’t mean he won’t be willing to talk about a way to divide things. Think carefully about the things you’ll let go, but also about the ones you’ll demand. If you can handle emotionally to live in the same house it is very unlikely you’ll be able to handle it financially. if you get it, the smartest thing would be to put it on sale right away.
• Who you want to become
You are about to enter a completely new period of life, so you need to make sure you’ll be able to support yourself financially. First, you need to estimate your post - divorce living expenses. The next step is to acquire a certificate in your profession through certain courses while networking with other working women who’ll be able to help you find a professional position according to your skills. Return to work as soon as you can, open up a bank account in your own name and start saving up.
As we said at the beginning, a divorce is only a transition. All you need is a cool head, experienced and trusted professional guidance, and to remember that you are a perfectly able individual.