It is widely known that divorce is expensive. By the time you add up attorney’s fees, court costs, mediation costs, and possibly the cost of refinancing property, a divorce can cost as much or more than a wedding. But the expense of a divorce is not the biggest financial concern most people have.
Their biggest concern is income. How are they going to pay for two households on an income and budget built for only one?
According to the Utah Divorce Orientation Program at Utah State University, “…individuals would need more than a 30% increase in income, on average, to maintain the same standard of living they had prior to their divorce.” So what can you do to help smooth the financial transition? Here are three things to keep in mind.
1. Recognize that the largest financial burden is during the first year – not forever. Plan on making some emergency budget cuts. You will be able to add them back into your budget once you get reestablished.
2. If you find yourself in the job market either looking for work or looking to get a better job, don’t panic. Start with the basics.
- Make of list of your skills, accomplishments, and experiences.
- Remember, the trend towards flexible work hours and working remotely continues to grow. This is particularly helpful for parents of young children. Look for jobs that will work with your schedule.
- Build your network and ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed or fear being judged. Trust in the relationships of friends and family you’ve built over time.
3. Get your finances organized. Gather all your financial records and make copies of them to leave with a trusted family member or in a lock box. You may have to do some searching, but the more information you have, the better. Here are some additional financial tips to get your finances organized before a divorce.
Taking the time to prepare your finances can save you from added stress in a difficult time.