Managing Financial Fears About Divorce

To many people who are experiencing the trials of divorce, it can sometimes feel like a full-time job. It can consume all aspects of your life. Between phone calls with your attorney, to contact with your ex-partner, to figuring out child custody and where to live, it can consume all aspects of your life. And regardless of how affluent the couple may be, there is often stress about your financial future.

A lot of times after two people have separated or divorced, someone has to start from scratch. While some degree of worry and apprehension is to be expected, these fears can be eliminated by a little work and planning on your part. This planning can help you feel confident and secure while you establishing your new life.

1. Fear of not getting a fair share.

Many people worry when they begin the process of divorce that they may not end up with their fair share of the finances. If your finances are simple, it can be easy to evenly divide your assets. But many times other items are involved that make things more complex. Things items can range from anything to multiple homes to closely held businesses and non-liquid investments. First, determine exactly what you own and how much it is worth. Next, establish a fair value for each asset. When doing this, be cautious that some things may be prone to subjectivity and manipulation in the divorce context.
Appraisals of real estate of other valuables such as jewelry or art may be advisable.

2. Fear of not knowing what you will have.

Fear of not knowing what you will have is a justified fear that many have when entering a divorce. When dealing with a divorce, it is easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. It is crucial to stay focused on what your finances are going to look like post-divorce. Not only should you know how much you have, but you need to know exactly what and where you have it. One tip to help with this fear is to meet with a financial adviser before the divorce is finalized, that way you can make sure that not only are you getting your fair share, but that you don’t get stuck with non-liquid assets while the other party gets the cash.

3. Fear of not knowing how your lifestyle will change.

This fear stems from your cash flow. How much will you have left? Many people worry that after alimony, child support, income and basic living expenses there will not be enough money left over to keep living the same day-to-day lifestyles they had before the divorce. To squash this fear, have your financial adviser create a post-divorce income and expense report for you. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can look at your recent spending history to determine what your anticipated monthly expenses will be. By doing this, you will be able to see how your new finances will affect your lifestyle.

When you experience a divorce, it is common to go through a wide range of emotions. For a spouse who isn’t financially savvy, fears and uncertainties are after a common experience. However, if you plan ahead and have a little help, you will be able to feel at ease about your financial situation and can focus on other aspects of the separation.