Financial Planning for a Divorcee

Pre-Divorce Planning

Divorce can be a confusing, emotional experience and requires knowledge of the law, taxes, and finance. The legal reality and financial reality of divorce are very different. Just as a family law attorney will focus on the legal issues, a financial planner experienced with divorces can help you can make the best possible financial decisions during and after your divorce. See below for how the legal stages of divorce may be different than the financial stages of divorce.

The legal stages during a divorce include consulting an attorney, understanding your legal rights and responsibilities, separating from your spouse, formal divorce proceedings, temporary orders for custody, alimony, child support, legal discovery, negotiations through your attorney, and a final judgment of divorce.

The financial stages during a divorce include gathering and understanding all your financial information, cost-benefit analysis of separation, closing access to joint accounts, beneficiary changes, opening new accounts in your name, tracking debts incurred before and after separation, insurance policy changes, tax return changes, documentation of alimony and other payments during divorce, analysis of assets and debts including the after-tax values of your real assets, investment assets, and pension or Social Security benefits, and the benefits and ramifications of offers and counter offers with regards to the division of all the assets.

Post-Divorce Planning

Once a divorce is completed, exhaustion and disorientation might set in. This is normal. Unfortunately, this can lead to further damage to your financial situation. It is important that you simplify and understand the issues that might affect you while identifying the kind of help you may need. Issues you may want to address immediately might include:

  1. Understanding the financial aspects of your new situation
  2. Help in making a plan to identify and achieve financial goals post-divorce
  3. Education in investing, and the tools of investing

There is a lot to think about during and after a divorce. Don’t let the financial decisions slow down your healing. Get some advice from a professional to help you prioritize and simplify your financial path to recovery.