Has your divorce left you riddled with financial uncertainty? It’s not an uncommon feeling given that the divorce process leaves you with less income and less assets than you enjoyed during your marriage. But there are steps that you can take to ease the uncertainty you’re facing and secure the post-divorce future that you want.
How can you protect your post-divorce financial stability?
To protect your financial interests, you need to be proactive in preparing for the road ahead. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Have a full understanding of what assets fall into the marital estate: Georgia is an equitable distribution state, meaning that you should be able to take away your fair share of the marital estate. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to walk away with half, but you’ll need to understand what’s in the marital estate so that you know what’s up for grabs and can develop your property division strategy accordingly.
- Make sure that your spouse isn’t hiding marital assets: All too often, spouses hide assets to try to prevent them from being looped into the property division process. When they’re successful, their spouse is cheated out of their portion of those assets. This is unfair and illegal, but it frequently goes unchecked. Don’t get taken advantage of here. Instead, diligently pour over financial records and documents pertaining to large assets to see if they’ve been squandered away or retitled to a family member or friend.
- Create a post-divorce budget: A lot of the financial fear that arises in divorce stems from uncertainty. But you can provide yourself some concrete numbers to work with when you create a post-divorce budget. You just have to be realistic and take into account your reduced income and any child support or alimony you might receive.
- Cut costs to reduce your expenditures: Once you have your budget created, you’ll be able to see where your large expenditures fall. If you need to, you can then focus on ways to decrease these costs so that you’re more financially stable. This may mean moving to a different residence, cutting out some discretionary expenditures, or reducing how often you eat at restaurants.
- Consider ways to increase your income post-divorce: Another way to give yourself more post-divorce stability is to increase your income. You can make some extra cash in the gig economy, or you might need to take on a second job. Just make sure you’re leaving enough time to spend with your kids.
- Be strategic in the assets that you seek to secure through your divorce: Not all assets are created equal. Some may be alluring, such as the family home, but can become money pits that you simply can’t afford. Others, though, like retirement accounts, might provide you with long-term financial support that you need in the long run. The assets that fall into this latter group can also be difficult to replenish if you give them away in your divorce.
Depending on your circumstances, there might be other steps that you can take to protect your interests. Just be sure to thoroughly assess your circumstances so that you know where you need to take action.
Put your finances at the front of your divorce strategy
There’s a lot to deal with when you enter the divorce process. You don’t want to be taken by surprise when dealing with any of these issues. That’s why now is the time to start developing your divorce strategy with the future you want in mind.