Getting a divorce will change a great many things about your life, but your finances will probably be one of the biggest. You have likely spent most of your marriage becoming used to a certain lifestyle based on your spouse’s income, whether it was combined with your own or you had no personal income to speak of.
Adjusting to the removal of your spouse’s income from your life can be a difficult proposition. You may have to start working again when it has been a while since your last job, or you may have to reevaluate your lifestyle choices and priorities.
Below we’ve listed some tips to help you successfully transition to life without your ex’s income. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique and can vary drastically based on things like alimony, child support, or other distribution of assets that were established in your divorce agreement. Give us a call to discuss your specific situation.
Evaluate Your Finances
Sit down and take a look at the financial big picture. What assets and income do you have available to you? What exactly has changed from your married finances to your current finances?
It’s important that you take stock of exactly where you stand without your spouse’s income so that you can make some important decisions from there.
After noting everything financially available to you, it is time to prioritize your lifestyle. What aspects of your life when you were married can you still afford, and what can you live without? Chances are you won’t be able to do everything you could before, so it’s important to decide what is most important to you so you can properly utilize the money available to you or make adjustments to your life to add income or assets that will allow you to continue with aspects of your lifestyle you can’t currently afford but don’t want to live without.
Create A Budget
Once you’ve taken stock of the finances available to you, and decided what’s important to you, you need to create a budget based on those needs. Budgeting is good practice for anyone, and whether you’re already a budgeting pro or never made one before, it will be important to establish a new budget for all financial aspects of your life after your divorce. This process can go hand-in-hand with prioritizing as well since creating a budget can help you compare the affordability of different aspects of your life and decide what’s more important.
Consider Tax Implications
Without your spouse’s income, your taxes will probably change quite a bit. You may be in an entirely new tax bracket which can mean drastically different tax requirements. It may be helpful to consult with a financial professional about where you now stand with regard to taxes in the aftermath of a divorce and what you can expect.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
If you get confused or don’t know certain things about your new financial situation, don’t be afraid to seek out help from those who have been there before or experienced professionals. Losing your ex’s income may leave you with a steep learning curve. Don’t feel like you have to handle it yourself.
If you have questions or concerns about how your financial situation will change as a result of a divorce, we understand the stress you’re going through so please give us a call to let us fight for your financial comfort and security.