While divorce can feel like a blow to your heart, it may also pack a punch to your pocketbook. Divorce marks the beginning of a new stage in your life, as well as the end of your marriage. As in any disagreement or competition, arming yourself with knowledge allows you to increase your chances of winning. By keeping a cool head and planning carefully, you may improve your financial and emotional outcome, enabling yourself to enter the next stage of your life with wisdom and confidence.
Often, emotional support can bolster your confidence and help you through a rough time, including a difficult divorce. You may find that some friends distance themselves, while others hover close by, ready to offer their assistance. Focus on building your friendships with individuals that encourage and support you. Seek professional counseling for unrelenting anger or depression. Taking care of your emotions can give you the strength to focus on the legal and financial aspects of your divorce.
Investigate Your Expenses
Go through your past bills and receipts to help you determine your past expenses. Unless you closely adhere to a financial budget, your divorce may have you wondering how much money you need to pay your bills. Like many women, you may depend on your husband’s employment for a large chunk of your financial expenses, including your health insurance coverage. Make a comprehensive list of all past expenses and expected future expenses.
Seek Legal Counsel
Although you may want to represent yourself, rather than hiring an attorney for your divorce, good legal advice may be a wise investment. A legal consultation can help you understand which documents you need to file with the court and how to look out for your own interests in your divorce case. Be honest and open with your attorney.
Look Out for Your Children
Like many mothers, your children’s welfare may be foremost in your mind. Look out for their emotional state as well as their financial health. Consider family counseling to help your children cope with the divorce process. As with your own expenses, document all items and activities that involve your children. Use this list to inform the judge of your children’s current standard of living. Investigate your state’s child support laws and guidelines. Complete a child support worksheet and attach to your list of expenses.
Although sitting down and conversing with your husband may make you uncomfortable during your divorce, mediation may help minimize costly legal battles. A professional mediator can help you and your husband focus on the issues, rather than dredging up past difficulties that create emotional roadblocks. Outline your priorities and use this time to share your concerns and desires regarding your finances and your children, including custody issues.
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