Divorce and Finances
Divorce and Finances are tricky when you and your spouse are having difficulty resolving your issues--if one of you has a foot out the door, he/she is changing the rules on the other. Which usually means that there can be a domino effect--one of you is planning to make a lot of moves without telling the other.
You already know that getting divorced just "feels" completely unfair in every way possible. Here are some "ground rules" which should be maintained about yours/your spouse's finances and divorce behavior. This will help you stay out of more debt, possibly avoid personal bankruptcy, and, make some of this unfairness, at least a little more, fair. Finances and divorce can become sticky without adhering to some "rules:"
- Divorce and Finances Tip #1. No spending joint money--put a freeze on the account if you must. It is difficult to trust one another when there is a violation of trust to begin with. Budget your money as if you are already single.
Many couples end up in buying wars with their soon-to-be-ex spouse. Do not engage in this if you'd like some peace. Freeze the account--until you can talk about it. It is completely unfair to expect your soon-to-be-ex to pay for debt that you accrued "on purpose," and if brought to court, there have been rulings against people who behaves this way.
- Divorce and Finances Tip #2. Set up your own separate bank accounts. Doesn't require much money. Just go and do it.
- Divorce and Finances Tip #3. Apply for your own credit card if you don't already have one, and get a copy of your credit report. Because most couples have joint accounts, it's really important to REVIEW the credit report. You can easily do this by using Credit Karma. It's totally free, and you can find out your credit score for free, receive updates about offers that could benefit you by saving you money on fees.
- Divorce and Finances Tip #4. Look around for free legal advice and free consults. You can use the Yellow Pages, but the best online service I've found is Legal Match.
Need a Lawyer? LegalMatch allows you to present your case, and respond only to lawyers who want to help you. It's Free & Confidential.
- Divorce and Finances Tip #5. Look around for a job if you don't have one, but don't switch yet, unless it's necessary. Making impulsive switches is usually a poor choice. (Work at home opportunities abound on the web, but most are scams. Building a website with Google is one great way to possibly increase your income if you have the ability and interest to build web pages about a topic you enjoy.
See my work at home pages for more information about Site Build It!
- Divorce and Finances Tip #6. Keep paying the house expenses if you want your family to be cared for. In some states there are conditions for abandonment that could be met for non-payment.
More Divorce and Finances Money Savers
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Begin to spend and save in a new way. Having two households is about twice as expensive as having one. What can each of you do to spend less???
*Food--easiest to cut back on--refillable water bottles and coffee mugs, limit eating out, pack lunches for children and yourself if you work.
*Clothing--Think about buying and selling on consignment. There are so many great deals, and if you go to an upscale town, prices aren't very high even there, but you can get brand names.
Save on electricy and gas. No matter where you live, you can reduce your energy costs, and you can tell your ex to reduce his/hers also, by switching energy providers. It is free, to switch, you just type in your account numbers, and it's easy. This referral program also allows you to pass the information onto others, which could also make you some much needed income right now.
Use the following link: Go to www.kachange.com to begin saving right away on energy fees and utility bills if you live in NJ, NY, or IL for both, Maryland and Pennsylvania offer electric only right now.
*Hand me downs--FREE is great, and sometimes necessary.
*Garage sales/curb--more cheap or free.
*Freecycle is a yahoo group with free items. You can't always find exactly what you want, but you can get rid of your items, and try to find what you want. I think they are organized by county within each state.
*Books--use the library liberally. Stop going to Barnes & Noble or Amazon and paying any fees.
*Movies--did I mention the library?
*Cars--consider making a trade for a used car, or keep your car until it dies (as long as it is safe)
*Insurance--get higher deductibles to have more money in your monthly budget.
*Gifts--try making your own home made items like cookies for holidays, and bake some clay for a birthday present for a child.
These are a few ways to begin to take positive steps toward your own financial independence from your spouse. You must be ready for the big crunch, because it will eventually happen. If you have been a stay at home mom you may have worries that you don't want to leave your children. If you are a laid off dad, you may lose sleep over how you'll pay your child support. Either way, you can start saving a few dollars if you try using some of these steps.
For the most important financial step you will take early or mid-way through the process of divorce, please read on...
Return from Divorce and Finances to Home
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Other Real-Divorce Articles you may find helpful in the Divorce and Finances Series:
Your Assets List
Divorce and Your Credit
Pension Appraisals--why everyone should get one ASAP!
If you have some debt or serious debt, please consider amending the situation,sooner rather than later, for your own well-being. Use these articles to help you:
Divorce and Debt
Careone Credit may have Solutions for Your Divorce
Debt Help Now!
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not legal advice and may not apply to your situation. I take the time to gather the best information to those going through divorce, and offer a place for readers to learn, get support and fantastic resources, and find applicable products that are a good fit for them. You can support this site by purchasing high quality products or services from the sponsors I link to.