How to Get Back on Your Feet Financially After a Divorce
Divorce is more than an emotionally difficult transition. Roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 27% have no savings at all. When couples divorce, they split their assets, which can be financially traumatic. The government does provide some retirement benefits — 5.4 million people were newly awarded Social Security benefits in 2014 — but for those recently divorced, these benefits can be hard to qualify for.
It is important to get back on your feet after a divorce so that you can concentrate on rebuilding your life. Your divorce lawyers should help you make certain preparations during the process itself. Here are a few things you and your lawyers can do to rebound from a divorce financially.
Don’t Make Important Decisions in the Early Days
After a divorce, it might be tempting to make some really big changes, like buying a new house, changing jobs, or moving to a new city. These things might eventually be advisable and even necessary, but the truth is that right now, you might be making rash decisions. It is probably better to wait until some of the chaos from the divorce has settled. Otherwise, you might find yourself dealing with the aftermath of poor decisions. The average American home has 13 payment cards and the typical credit card purchase is 112% higher than a cash purchase — make sure not to fall into any traps with credit in particular.
Focus on the Essentials
After a divorce, hidden debts can be unearthed. That’s why it’s essential to stick to the basics before panic-mode spending kicks in. Make sure that you at least have food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. Eliminate all else for a while. Once you feel secure that your family is properly fed and clothed, you can move on to thinking about other areas.
Make a Plan
Once you have acclimated a bit to your new situation, it is time to figure out what your plan is going forward. This is also something you should have discussed with your divorce attorney, who should have tried to secure certain assets or support during the separation. This might also involve speaking to a financial advisor or a lawyer
With help from your lawyer and community, you can bounce back financially from a divorce.