Watching divorce impact every area of your life can cause you to feel unsure about the future. While you cannot dictate the outcome of every divorce-related decision, your own actions can help you maintain control over the most important aspects of your life.
Proceeding with caution, especially with how you use your finances, can help you minimize the collateral damage so often caused by divorce.
Knowing what is going on
As soon as you recognize that your divorce is unavoidable, begin paying close attention to expenditures of marital funds. This is especially important if you usually let your spouse make all of the financial decisions. Remaining in the dark about which money is coming in and which is going out can not only prevent you from making informed decisions but if your spouse is trying to hide assets, you may not notice until it is too late.
According to U.S. News, document all expenditures and not just the ones you make. Use wisdom in making financial decisions and determine what you can do going forward to protect your future. As soon as you identify your goals for the future, you can begin developing a plan to rebuild your finances.
Making a game plan
Begin with creating a budget. This budget will require modification as your divorce proceeds. Keep track of your income and expenses. Work with your employer to determine how your divorce will affect your benefits including health insurance and retirement savings. Be proactive about setting up your own bank account so you can begin to build your financial independence again.
Living within your means and saving where you can, will help you to prepare for your future. If the courts require you to pay child custody or alimony, be consistent about budgeting those payments and making them on time to avoid ongoing legal and financial repercussions. If you are on the receiving end of such payments, refrain from including them in your budget. Relying on those payments if they end up delinquent may cause you stress and worry. Budget your expenses as if you will not receive those payments and then if you do, it will provide a welcome boost to your income.