No one enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. But, unfortunately, that’s often the case. If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, there are things you can do to make the process a little bit easier on yourself. Here are five ways to prepare for divorce:
Get your finances in order
Managing your finances is one of the biggest challenges during and after a divorce. Divorce is relatively expensive, costing around $13,000. So before you even begin the divorce process, take some time to get your financial ducks in a row. Gather important documents like tax returns, bank statements, and investment account statements. This will give you a better understanding of your overall financial picture and make it easier to negotiate a settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Additionally, consider these options when saving money for the divorce. Here are a couple of ways to prepare your finances for a divorce.
This rule of saving can help you become independent. The 50/30/20 rule states that you must spend 50% of your income on essentials. After you can spend 30% on your hobby and things you like doing, like travel and entertainment, and 20% on savings or debt repayment. You need to start doing these things once your ex-spouse is no longer part of your household.
Create a post-divorce budget
After divorce, your financial situation will change. You may be used to living on a certain income, but that could all change after the divorce is finalized. So it’s essential to create a new budget that reflects your post-divorce lifestyle. Begin by taking a close look at your income and expenses. Make sure to include all your essential costs, like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. Then, factor in your discretionary expenditures, such as entertainment and travel. Finally, don’t forget to budget for savings and debt repayment.
Talk to a financial advisor
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the divorce process, it may be helpful to talk to a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you understand your options and make intelligent financial decisions. They can also guide how to budget for your post-divorce lifestyle.
Meet with a lawyer
It’s a good idea to meet with a lawyer before you start the divorce process. An experienced divorce lawyer can answer any questions about the process and help you understand what to expect. Once you’ve retained a lawyer, they will be your advocate throughout the entire process, so it’s essential that you feel comfortable with them. Moreover, here are some things you should discuss with them.
You might need to establish child custody and visitation arrangements if you have children. First, you’ll need to decide who will have primary control of the children and how often the other parent will be able to visit with them.
If you have primary custody of the children, you may be entitled to child support from your ex-spouse. Child support is a payment made from one parent to the other to help cover the costs of raising the children.
You’ll also need to divide your property and assets fairly. This includes things like your home, furnishings, vehicles, and investments.
If you were financially dependent on your spouse during the marriage, you might be entitled to spousal support after the divorce. Spousal support is a payment from one spouse to the other to help cover living costs.
Lean on your support system
Divorce can be an emotionally draining experience. So it’s essential to lean on your support system—friends, family, or a therapist—during this challenging time. These people can provide much-needed emotional support and practical advice when things get tough.
Create (or update) your budget
You’ll need to create (or update) your budget once you’re going through a divorce. This will help you figure out how much money you’ll have coming in and going out each month to make adjustments. Remember that your lifestyle may need to change after the divorce, so try to be realistic with your spending.
Take care of yourself
It’s easy to let things like exercise and healthy eating fall by the wayside when you’re going through a tough time like divorce. So here are some ways to take care of yourself without spending too much.
- Get a manicure or pedicure
- Treat yourself to a relaxing massage
- Start meditating
- Cook yourself a healthy meal
- Take a yoga class
- Read a good book
All of these things can make a difference during the divorce process.
Divorce is never easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself. From getting your finances to taking care of yourself physically and mentally, following these tips can help reduce stress during a difficult time.