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Four key budget considerations as you head into divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

The financial outcome of your divorce can leave you concerned about your future. After all, if you don’t maximize your opportunities for securing the resources that you deserve, then you might struggle to make ends meet as you move into your post-divorce life. To avoid that from happening, you need to enter your divorce proceedings with a strong strategy and a post-divorce plan.

While this certainly includes figuring out how to position yourself in property division settlement talks and preparing yourself to litigate matters pertaining to alimony and child support, you’ll also want to consider what your life will look like post-divorce. Creating a budget around your vision of the future can help you set realistic goals in your divorce and ease some of the fear that comes with the uncertainty of marriage dissolution.

Creating a post-divorce budget

Creating a budget can be scary, especially when you’re facing major life changes like a divorce. But we think that once you write your budget out, you’ll find a sense of relief and direction. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most important considerations that you’ll want to take into account as you embark on creating your budget.

  1. Your income: This seems obvious, but it’s important to paint a clear picture of how much money you’re going to have coming in once your divorce is finalized. Be realistic, too, so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Also, don’t forget to include other sources of income, like spousal support and child support. By looking at your income, you can better gauge whether you need to seek other streams of revenue, such as by taking on a second job.
  2. Your housing expenses: Given that you’ll have to cover your housing expenses on your own moving forward, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear picture of what that entails. If you’re fighting for the family home, then you’ll want to keep in mind that you’re going to be responsible for the mortgage and upkeep, which can become quite expensive when living on a single income. If that has you worried, then thinking about alternative housing as you move into your post-divorce life might be a good idea.
  3. Your discretionary spending: Money might be tight after your divorce wraps up. But discretionary spending can be one place where you can cut a little to save some cash. Be honest with yourself about how much discretionary spending you had during your marriage and how much you can truly afford once you move on to the next chapter of your life.
  4. Your savings: A divorce can take a hit on your savings, including those meant for retirement. By closely analyzing where you’re at with your savings, though, you might be able to develop a budgetary plan that puts you on a strong path forward to rebuilding your savings and your retirement accounts.

Your planning starts now

Even though creating a budget may seem like something that you don’t have to worry about until your marriage is fully dissolved, the planning process should start now. After all, the outcome of your divorce can have a tremendous impact on what your planning will look like.

Therefore, as you head into your divorce, you’ll need a strong legal strategy targeted at protecting your interests.