Gaining Your Financial Independence After a Florida Divorce
At the Law Office of Denise Miller, our divorce attorney in Stuart, Florida understands how each nuance of marital dissolution can affect your physical, emotional, psychological, and financial position.
Whether your divorce is initiated by an extramarital affair that caught you by surprise or is the result of marital discord years in the making, the process can seem daunting and the outcome unpredictable.
What most people do not consider is that divorce can be financially grueling and is one of the top five reasons people file for bankruptcy in the United States.
After a divorce, there are several strategies you can use to regain control of your finances.
Understand Where the Money Comes From and Where it is Going
Marital dissolutions create a tremendous financial strain on both spouses in several ways.
First, each spouse must address the fact that they will be maintaining two separate households, which could require downsizing to live within your new financial means.
Before the divorce, combined incomes were supporting a single home, which may have provided luxuries that you can no longer afford in two different locations.
However, if one spouse was the breadwinner, and the other stayed at home with the children, the legal obligation of dividing the marital assets, spousal support, and child support — when applicable — can create a severe financial strain on the paying spouse.
To understand where you stand financially, review your tax returns, bank statements, retirement and investment accounts, and other financial holdings to get a realistic look at how much money you have and how they match up to your monthly expenses.
Create a Realistic Budget After Your Florida Divorce
If you are working, or are returning to work after the divorce, outline your salary and any available resources, so you can plan a monthly financial strategy that fits your means.
Make a complete list of your expenses, including any debt that you were left with after the divorce, and new expenses like rent, utilities, and other outgoing costs associated with your single life, which could include insurance or vehicle payments.
Match your expenses to your monthly income and see where you stand. You may have to cut back in certain areas until you can begin to rebuild your financial stability after a divorce.
Be realistic. If you are living beyond your means, your credit could suffer as a result. Instead of digging a deeper financial hole, consider pursuing a second income or advancing your career to reach a higher paying job.
Reassess Your Financial Goals to Ensure Real-Time Stability
Marital financial goals often revolve around your long-term needs, which could include your kids’ college funds, retirement savings, or big-ticket purchases for your home.
Although you may retain part of your savings after the divorce, you will need to make a new plan that allows you — on your own — to build a new nest egg, which should include an emergency fund for any unforeseeable expenses.
Build Your Own Credit Profile
Married couples often share credit cards and other types of debt that reflect their credit score for better or worse.
After a divorce, you must build a credit history of your own.
This is important because your credit score is one of the factors considered when you apply for a loan or buy a home.
Rebuilding your finances after divorce may initially feel overwhelming, but you can take several small steps to get ahead of your asset/debt ratio, including undergoing a credit assessment from one of many popular online credit review services to learn where an extra payment may boost your score.
Call Us Today
If you are considering a divorce in Florida and would like to understand how it will affect you financially, contact our Martin County and Stuart family law attorney at the Law Office of Denise Miller today by calling (772) 247-8129 to discuss your case today, so you can start planning your future with confidence.