Getting divorced can be a tough time for everyone, especially if there are children involved. The future may seem unclear, and you may worry about the financial stress of splitting up. If you have lost the household income your spouse brought in, there are steps you can take to help keep yourself financially secure, both during and after the transition into your new life.
Five Financial Tips for Surviving Your Divorce
- Start with the basics. Focus on making sure that you and the kids have a place to live, food to eat, and your transportation needs are met. Just knowing that these things are taken care of can bring immense peace of mind and let you move forward to deal with larger financial issues you may have.
- Tighten your belt a little. You may need to make a few cutbacks to create some financial stability. You may have to liquidize assets—that could mean selling big-ticket items, including the house or other property. You can reduce your monthly living expenses by renting a smaller, cheaper place until you’re ready to buy again. A smaller place often has the advantage of being more energy-efficient, too, so you can save on heating and cooling costs. Smaller changes can help, as well, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances, turning off the lights when you exit a room, or putting on a sweater when it’s cold instead of cranking the furnace.
- Close joint accounts. If you and your partner have joint bank or other accounts, close them as soon as you can, and open new accounts in your own name. If you can’t close them right away, monitor them closely to be sure that your partner isn’t spending any money that should rightfully be split between you during the divorce.
- Check your credit. Keep an eye on your credit report. It’s possible that a vengeful or fraudulent ex-spouse may take out loans, mortgages, or open accounts using the social security number of his former partner—without that partner’s knowledge. Your bank or credit card may offer credit reports for free, so it’s generally a good idea to take advantage of these services even if you’re not planning on divorce right now.
- Rely more on family and friends. You may no longer have someone who can stay home with the kids if someone gets sick. Ask your family or trusted friends if they’d be willing to help you out once in a while, even if it’s just to pick up a child from school or daycare while you’re stuck at work. Just the occasional pickup or drop-off can help save you time and money. It sometimes takes courage to ask for help, but you don’t have to do this alone. Use your support network, or focus on building one.
There are other ways you can save money, too. Learning to cook instead of eating out can make a big difference in your food costs. You may even try skipping meat-based meals once or twice a week.
You can also try to broaden your income stream. You may find some activities that can bring in some extra cash with hobbies or crafts that produce items you can sell; you can look for opportunities online (beware of scams and frauds); or you can find some part-time work in your local community.
We Can Help
There’s one more thing you can do to help yourself during a divorce: get a qualified divorce attorney by your side. An experienced attorney will stay with you during every step of the legal process, helping you keep focused on succeeding in your new life.
To get help with your divorce today, call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at (425) 460-0550. Our office is conveniently located in Bellevue, and are happy to arrange a private consultation to talk about your legal needs.