Financially surviving divorce

There are not many situations in New Hampshire that can challenge your financial security like a divorce. Now that separation is imminent, your financial stability may be at stake. Taking immediate actions may prepare you for your new post-divorce financial reality.

Identify your expenses

In order for you to become financially independent, you need to know what your expenses are. You may need to track your spending more carefully than you have in the past because you are no longer relying on two incomes. List your monthly financial obligations, including important items such as transportation, your child's education and extracurricular activities, and insurance payments. Make note of how much money you need for each expense and how you plan to pay it. If you plan to rely on child support and alimony, you should document them in your budget.

Cut back on excess spending

Now that you are supporting yourself, you may have less disposable income. To prevent additional stress and hardship, watching your spending habits and modifying them as necessary may help to support your new lifestyle. Anytime you feel the urge to make a frivolous purchase, remind yourself of your current financial situation. To keep yourself from feeling deprived or anxious, try to establish a plan that allows for some personal purchases.

Save for emergency situations

Regardless of the outcome of your divorce, a savings plan is a necessity. Whether that money comes from a paycheck or an alimony check, you should place a certain amount into a savings or money market account so you can earn interest while you increase your emergency funds.

Pay down joint debts

Most spouses have shared debts such as credit cards together. It is a good idea for you to pay down as much joint debt as possible before your separation is finalized. You should also close any joint accounts you have with your ex so you are not left dealing with any negative consequences if he or she fails to pay them.

Refinance the home

If there is a joint mortgage involved, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will need to decide who gets to stay in the marital home. A divorce decree cannot remove your name from a mortgage agreement. However, refinancing the property can. The person who keeps the home should refinance it so that their ex-spouse's name is removed from the deed and is no longer financially responsible for the mortgage.

Regaining financial independence after divorce may seem challenging, but careful planning and time ease some of the burden. If you are contemplating divorce or in the midst of one and in need of guidance so you can survive it financially, you may want to discuss your situation with an attorney.

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