After the Divorce, Focus on your Financial Future

June 21, 2017

One good result of a divorce, whether you like it or not, is that you have learned more about your finances than you knew before. Most married couples live together secretly blaming each other for the financial shortfalls, but once a marriage is over, you are in control of your own destiny. How you deal with that independence is your next challenge.

Here are a few steps to stabilizing your new future.

1) Develop a budget that spends only your monthly inflow. If your expenses exceed the inflow of money, either cut expenses or decide how to increase the inflow. These can be difficult choices but empowering ones.

2) Start paying deliberate attention to the stock market. Decide where you can increase the return on your investments without taking too much risk. Consult a money manager and a tax accountant, and even begin reading the financial news in your spare time. Make a commitment to your own financial well-being.

3) Begin re-building your assets. If you end up after the divorce with approximately half the assets you had (which many do), decide how to build up those assets and a more secure future going forward. Involve your children in the learning curve if they are old enough, but stop short of revealing your most serious fears about money.

4) Settle or make payment plans on whatever debt was assigned to you out of the marriage. Pay down the debt beginning with the highest interest rate first. Lock up your credit cards except for the most essential one, and keep tight control of the balance on even that one.

After a divorce, it’s time to focus on the future. Whether you wanted the divorce or not, and whether you feel richer or poorer, you are in a new chapter of your life – one where the ending is up to you.

Allen, Glassman & Schatz, LLC