Tuesday, 31 July 2018

10 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Shirt in a Divorce

Modern divorce is not about who was the meanest or who slept where. It's about the money. Both spouse's income and assets are -- or should be -- on the table. But couples don't always know a lot about each other's finances, or where to look. They might not even realize how much less they're worth, due to the squeeze on incomes and the housing depression.

Divorce rates fall during hard times because couples can't afford the split. But for people quitting anyway, the struggle ramps up. Here are 10 tips for getting the most out of a diminished marital pot:

1. Follow the money. If you don't know much about your spouse's finances, or aren't sure that everything is on the table, snoop. Any financial documents can be a clue to income or property: Online bank and investment accounts, life and homeowners insurance policies, payroll and retirement-plan statements, financial statements filed when you took out a mortgage, a copy of the will or trust, credit card statements, and tax returns (if you don't have copies of them, you can get joint federal returns for the past five years by filing Form 4506-T).

Assuming that you know your spouse's Social Security number, you can also get his or her credit report free online, at AnnualCreditReport.com. Unexpected debts or charge accounts might show up.

2. Dig into your spouse's business. Wholly owned businesses are notorious for shielding income from the IRS or from a spouse. Tax returns might not present a full picture of what the company actually earns. If a lot of money is at stake, hire a forensic accountant -- your divorce lawyer will know one. The accountant will press for documents that show more fully where all the business assets are and how much cash is floating around.

3. Protect your flanks. You'll need personal money to tide yourself over during the months it takes to reach a settlement. If your spouse hit you with the split by surprise, he or she is probably prepared, so you're at a disadvantage. Holding some money separately makes sense in any relationship. So do separate credit cards. Freeze an open, joint home-equity line and joint credit cards immediately, so your ex-to-be won't be tempted to run up extra debt. In "good" divorces, the freeze should occur by mutual agreement. In bad divorces, one spouse could be left without credit or access to cash.

4. Nail down any money you brought to the marriage. You can normally take inheritances and any pre-marital personal savings away with you, even in a community property state, as long as it stayed in your separate name. If you mixed it into the general pot of assets acquired after the marriage, however, it will probably have to be divided when you separate, in amounts depending on state law. You might get a larger settlement if you can show that your money financed the family business or your ex's professional education.

5. Go after the pension and retirement accounts. Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k)s, and company pensions all have to be divided, although not necessarily in half. If you each have plans, both of them are up for grabs.

You can split an IRA with a written agreement, but you need a court-ordered Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, to win part of a company plan. The QDRO should say what you'll get, when you'll get it, and how the value will be figured. The company has to approve the wording, to be sure that it follows all the plan rules. Otherwise you won't be paid, no matter what the divorce agreement says.

You'll need an expert to check the value of a traditional pension. If you can get only a future payout from the plan, you might want to trade it for more cash or property now. If your spouse has stock options, an excess benefits plan, or any other type of deferred compensation, negotiate for a piece of this, too.

6. Don't expect permanent alimony. A spouse with low or no income might get alimony, but awards are often not enough to support your current standard of living and are often for a limited time period. Judges expect dependent spouses who can do so to go out and get a job

Homemakers -- male or female -- sometimes think they'll do better coming into court looking "poor," says family law attorney Linda Ravdin of the Bethesda, Maryland, law firm, Pasternak & Fidis. All that does, she says, is to leave your ex free to argue that your potential earning power is, say, $80,000 -- and what does a judge know about it? You should get a better settlement if you can show that you've applied for jobs and will probably earn much less.

7. Fight for health benefits, when you don't have your own group plan.If your spouse carried the family coverage, you can usually stay in that plan, at your expense (or your ex's expense, depending on the agreement), for up to three years. Don't let these benefits (called COBRA benefits) slip away. You have to apply within 60 days of your legal separation or divorce.

8. Get tax advice right from the start, if there's a lot of money at stake.You'll want to know what any proposed settlement is worth after tax. There are lots of tricks. For example, say that the child lives with the wife, who takes the child to day care so that she can work. The husband might pay her an amount equal to the day-care cost in the form of temporary alimony. That way, he can deduct the payments on his tax return. The alimony is taxable income to the wife, but she can offset it by taking the child-care tax credit on her return.

9. Get financial planning advice right from the start. How much will you need to support yourself? Can you cover the cost of the house, if you take it as part of the settlement, or should it be sold and the proceeds divided? Is your spouse proposing to give you the risky investments while he or she keeps the safer ones? A good planner will help you think through these issues during the negotiation. One source of advice: The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.

10. Put $$$ in your pocket by avoiding a battle with your spouse. In hard times, divorcing couples struggle for every dime. But the more you fight, the more of those dimes vanish in lawyer's fees. If there are no children and few assets, you can usually do the divorce yourselves, even if you're only speaking by email. Otherwise, try to reach a preliminary agreement before a lawyer comes into the picture. Consider a divorce mediation professional, or a collaborative divorce where couples and their lawyers agree in advance to bargain instead of going to court. For more information, check the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals or Divorcenet.com.

Divorce, unlike marriage, lasts until death you do part. It's important to get the agreement right.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/10-steps-to-avoid-losing-your-shirt-in-a-divorce/

Monday, 30 July 2018

How to get back on your feet after divorce

Divorce is rarely easy, but for mums already struggling to balance their work and family responsibilities it can be harder to cope with.

While you may want to curl up in bed all day and feel sorry for yourself, abandon your responsibilities and head off traveling, or leave your troubles behind and make a fresh start somewhere new, you’re often trapped by finances, your career or business, children and mortgage.

You need to get up every morning, paste a smile on your face and go through the motions of your day – getting the kids ready for school or nursery, attending to the demands of your boss or clients, and taking care of your home.

It can feel like the rest of the world is getting on with their lives while yours has ground to a halt. But it doesn’t have to feel that way.

Some people find divorce easier to deal with

As counsellor and hypnotherapist Susan Leigh explains, some people seem to find it easier to bounce back after divorce. Maybe they had time to get used to the idea, or even instigated proceedings themselves.

Or perhaps they’re just better equipped to cope with negative experiences. And if so, why is that? What do they do differently that enables them to recover and move on from divorce more easily, and build a new, confident happy life on their own?

How to get back on your feet after divorce

To help you navigate your new, post-married life, Susan shares her advice on how to get back on your feet after divorce or separation.

Change your perspective

Consider your perspective on life. Two people can share the same everyday experience like a meal out or a cinema visit, yet have very different opinions afterwards.

Look at how you generally react to experiences. Do you tend to take things personally? Would you benefit from a more positive, resilient attitude?

Try to take a fresh look at your life. Can you reframe situations or events? View things from a different, more optimistic angle? After all, how we see and experience our life is what makes our reality, and we have more control over that than we often believe.

Treat setbacks as lessons

Treat setbacks as valuable lessons, ways to do things differently, perhaps even better than before. Look at how and why your relationship failed – there are often lessons to be learned by both parties, after all you loved each other once, didn’t you?

Hurt, disappointment and rejection can teach us important lessons, allow for the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, clarify what we want and don’t want from relationships and work on our own failings and insecurities.

So instead of getting stuck in a rut of anger and hurt, take something positive from what you perceive as injustices and failures. Think how you can do things differently in future – and move from a feeling of helplessness to a growing sense of empowerment.

Value what you have in life

Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. Before they divorce, many people discover that the loneliest place on earth is to be in a loveless marriage where they feel increasingly unhappy.

They discover that they’re much 
better off in a small rented place that is home than in a grand mansion where they feel unwanted and alone. After a breakup many of us learn who are real friends are, who cares about us, who is loyal and in our corner.

So if you catch yourself feeling sorry for yourself, try to count your blessings. Take a moment to recall how bad or lonely you felt in your lowest moments in your relationship, and then contrast that with the positive things in your life now – the freedom to choose your own decor in your new home, the support of your friends… anything that helps you to appreciate your life now.

Give yourself credit

Give yourself credit as y
ou pick up the pieces of your life. It’s easy to focus on everything we have yet to do, or aren’t doing well, but in fact there are plenty of ways that you are making positive progress in your life – so celebrate them.

You may start small initially after your break up, making new friends, and learning how to manage on your own. Even taking over jobs that were previously your partner’s domain is a big step towards independence.

So praise yourself when you make a difficult phone call, finish something you were dreading, or learn something new. Value the small successes each day and credit yourself with each accomplishment.

Surround yourself with positivity

We absorb energy from the people and things around us, so make sure you surround yourself with positivity.

Accept offers of help and spend as much time as you can with supportive people – people who understand how you’re feeling, want to help and yet are prepared to nudge you along occasionally if they suspect you need it.

Steer clear of friends, family and colleagues who enjoy moaning or tend to see life from a negative perspective and seek out people who make you feel excited, content, energised and happy. And give your home a positive energy makeover to help boost your mood.

Find time for reflective interests

Learn to use your free time well. If you live alone or have shared custody of children spend some of your alone time constructively – maybe reading a book, painting, spending time in the garden, walking in the countryside.

Yes, it’s important to catch up with work and household chores, but commit some time to yourself as well and do things that revive you. So find activities that you enjoy, and make sure you prioritise them – whether it’s a quiet activity at home or getting out with friends.
Not only will this help fill you with energy and happiness, but can also help to distract you when your children are spending time with your ex. Instead of pining for them or wondering what they’re up to, you’ll be too busy enjoying yourself!

Spend time on your home

After a divorce it can be important to inject your personality into your surroundings, even if they’re only temporary or you’ve no spare money.

Use colour and textures to ensure it’s cosy, warm and welcoming. Invite people round for a coffee or supper and make your place feel homely and safe. It’s important to feel good about your home, for it to be a place you’re happy to spend time in and to be comfortable about returning to.

Plan things to look forward to

Schedule things ahead so you have something to look forward to. Art galleries and museums often have shows that are free to attend, book clubs are often looking for new members, or simply take the initiative and invite friends round for an evening, a games night, a film viewing or supper.

Dark evenings especially can seem long and devoid of fun so get on mailing lists and organise trips with friends or colleagues.


Volunteering, charitable work, helping others can help you feel good, especially if you live on your own and find you have too much time on your hands.

Simple things can help to turn your focus away from yourself, like learning to smile as you walk by, saying ‘hello’ to people first, interacting with other people, even if it feels alien and awkward to start with. Small steps all help to improve your mood.

(As an extra benefit, volunteering can also be a great career boost.)

Say yes to invitations

Accept invitations, say ‘yes’ to opportunities and gradually have a go. This is a new start for you so after a period of healing, maybe therapy where you work on your confidence, negative patterns or demons, start to step out of your comfort zone.

Being receptive to new ideas and opportunities adds potential for new direction to your life.

Discover a new you after divorce

Divorce isn’t just the end of your marriage or life as you knew it – it’s also an opportunity to create an exciting new beginning, a time to rediscover yourself.

There is a saying that the ultimate revenge is indifference. As you become more positive about yourself and your new life you’ll find yourself increasingly indifferent to your ex. Your new found enthusiasm and quality of life is the best way to get back on your feet after divorce.

Source: https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/get-back-feet-divorce/

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Why Do Women Initiate Divorce?

Divorce can mean major changes for families, from separating homes and assets to negotiating child custody arrangements. It can also be an opportunity for both partners to move on and find more suitable mates in the future. What may be most surprising about getting a divorce is the inequality of it; the vast majority of divorces and separations are initiated by women. There are many underlying causes that may compel a woman to end her marriage.

Encountering Hardships

In households where the man is unemployed, a woman may be more likely to file for divorce, especially if she herself is employed, according to PsychCentral writer Rick Nauert, PhD. Emotionally traumatic events, such as the death of a child or extreme financial difficulties, can also create the distance between partners that leads wives to file for divorce, as noted in the article, "Divorce and Death of a Child."

Falling Out of Love

Long-term relationships can bring happiness and joy, but partners may also begin to drift apart or grow bored. Women may report feeling bored, falling out of love with their spouses, or eager to get back to hobbies and interests that they gave up when they married a spouse who was not interested in those activities.

Abuse, Addiction and Infidelity

Many women still cite major problems as reasons for a divorce. An unfaithful husband, verbal abuse, physical abuse and addictions to drugs or alcohol play significant roles in a woman's decision to get a divorce, found a survey conducted for AARP The Magazine. Men participating in this study were more likely to seek divorce for reasons such as differing lifestyles and falling out of love.

Divorce Risk Factors

Several factors can influence a couple's financial and emotional stability, which in turn impact divorce risk. The risk of divorce doubles or triples for couples who get hitched during the teen years, according to an article from TwoOfUs.org. Differences between spouses in values, like religion and politics, or in life goals or family backgrounds can also cause a relationship to break down over time, leading women to seek divorce. A lack of college education for one or both partners can also increase the risk of divorce

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/146100-why-do-women-initiate-divorce/

Friday, 27 July 2018

How to Handle a Bitter Ex-Wife in a Divorce

A divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can face. In the article, "The Influence of Divorce on Men's Health" in the Journal of Men's Health, ending a marriage can have negative physical, emotional and spiritual effects and that divorced men tend toward ailments that range from the common cold to life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and heart attacks. Men who have gone through a divorce are also more likely to engage in substance abuse, experience depression and are 39 percent more likely to commit suicide. Divorced men may find themselves struggling to manage their interactions with a bitter ex-wife, but some tactics may make the transition smoother.

Take the High Road

It may be difficult, but taking the high road when dealing with a bitter ex-wife may be best. It may be helpful to think about the reasons for her behavior. In his 2012 book, "Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody and Mediation," Robert E. Emery emphasizes the importance of understanding the grieving process and emotions common during a divorce. Showing empathy and refusing to engage in conflict is not about making excuses for your ex-wife’s bad behavior -- it’s about preventing the further escalation of your issues. Adding fuel to the fire will only make things worse.

Avoid Bad-Mouthing Your Ex

When speaking to your children, friends, family or coworkers, avoid saying negative things about your ex-wife. Dr. Richard A. Warshak's book, "Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing," sheds light on how children can become confused, upset and alienated by hearing one parent say unkind things about the other. You may be frustrated by your ex-wife, but it's best to share those thoughts with a trusted professional, rather than burden those around you.

Keep Your Temper Under Control

If you’re in the middle of a divorce, chances are that you are upset about a few things, which, of course, may only become worse by frequent confrontations with your ex-wife. Keeping your cool during altercations is essential -- not only for everyone’s safety -- but to establish peace. To avoid retaliating, address any issues that trigger your own anger. When she realizes that her actions will not result in you having a meltdown, she may be less likely to continue those behaviours.

Consider Mediation

The American Association of Marital and Family Therapy suggests enlisting the assistance of a professional with experience in helping couples through exceptionally difficult divorces can be extremely helpful. Mediation is a short-term, structured process in which the former partners meet with an impartial third person. The goal is to develop more effective strategies for co-parenting, managing finances and other issues.

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/188016-how-to-handle-a-bitter-ex-wife-in-a-divorce/

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Dating During Divorce

You may think that you're free to start a new relationship once you've made the decision to separate or divorce, but it's wise not to jump back into the dating pool until after your divorce is finalized. Here's why.

If you’re thinking about dating before your divorce is final – DON’T! You may think that you’re free to start a new relationship once the decision is made to separate or divorce, but it is wise to hold off on the dating scene until after your divorce is finalized for a number of strategic legal and emotional reasons.

Strategic Reasons not to Date Before Divorce

Emotions are raw during a divorce. When you start seeing someone else, it is like rubbing salt into your husband’s wounds. Believe me, he will likely react to the fact that you are dating by making your life hell during the divorce process. He may seek revenge to compensate for the anger, hurt, and embarrassment that he feels you have caused him.
Even if your husband has carried on numerous affairs during your marriage, he will not think that you are justified in seeing someone new at this time. All he will focus on is that he has been wronged and will want to seek justice anyway he can. He may try to even the score by fighting about custody of the children or how to split the marital estate.

If you have children, then you also need to realize that it’s in your best interest to try to keep a cordial relationship with your husband. You will most likely have ongoing contact with your husband after the divorce because of the children. Dating during your divorce can poison the spirit of cooperation and affect your life for a long time after the divorce is final (and possibly after your boyfriend is history).

Legal Reasons not to Date Before Divorce

As far as the courts are concerned, you are still legally married until the divorce is finalized. In states that recognize fault in a divorce case, dating during your divorce can be viewed as adultery. This can affect the outcome of your divorce as far as child custody and visitation, spousal support, and the eventual property settlement.

Even if you have been separated from your husband for a while, dating during your divorce can be used to help prove marital misconduct during your marriage. It can look like you have questionable morals, even if you were the perfect wife during your marriage.
If you Date, Your Boyfriend may be Open to Scrutiny

To top it off, a really vindictive husband might consider suing your boyfriend for alienation of affection. This will put your boyfriend smack-dab in the middle of your divorce, which is a quick way to put a damper on your new relationship.

You need to be especially careful if you have children from your marriage. Not only will both you and your husband’s conduct be scrutinized during a custody case, but also so will be the conduct of your boyfriend. If he has a shady background, it will be used against you.
Any person who has frequent contact with your children can become part of a custody investigation. If there are past issues of domestic violence or charges of sexual misconduct (proven or not), it will have repercussions in your divorce.

Living with Someone can Impact the Level of Support Ordered

Another consideration that you should think about if you are considering living with your boyfriend is that it will affect the level of support you may eventually receive. Even if you ultimately get custody of your children, child support levels may be lowered because you are living with someone and sharing the expenses.

It can also have a big impact on whether or not you will receive alimony and how much you receive. This can even apply to temporary support order, because once again, you are sharing the expenses with someone else. It would be a shame to forfeit your future support on a relationship that may not last.

The bottom line is that if you date during your divorce, you are giving your husband a big advantage. Don’t sacrifice your future on a new relationship. Wait until after the divorce is finalized before you start to date.

Emotional Reasons not to Date During Divorce

When you are separated or going through a divorce, the attention that a boyfriend shows you can feel like a breath of fresh air and boost your self-esteem. While he may serve as a distraction and help you avoid some of the pain of your divorce, you will eventually need to face those emotions.

While it feels good to be needed and wanted, it’s unlikely that you’re emotionally ready to deal with a new relationship. You will still have to deal with all the issues that caused the breakup of your marriage and make peace with the fact that it’s really over.

A new relationship at this time is not going to be based on the real you. Imagine how differently you will act when you are not under extreme stress and when your life is more stable. You need time to discover that you can make it on your own without a man to support you emotionally or financially.

What if He Really is the One for You?

When you are going through a divorce, you’re usually not in a mental state to make permanent choices. Studies have shown that the first relationship that a person enters into after a divorce has little chance of long-term survival and will rarely end in marriage.

So what should you do if you believe that this new man is the one you should have married in the first place? Make life easier on you and him both by postponing the relationship until the divorce is finalised.

If he truly is as special as you think, then he will be willing to wait. Once all the papers are signed, you can resume the relationship and see if it still feels the same. If it doesn’t, you have saved both of you a lot of heartache.

What if you are determined to continue the relationship anyway? I would seriously recommend talking with your lawyer. Your relationship might not have much bearing if you have had a long separation from your husband, don’t live in a fault state, and your divorce is uncontested. Even then, follow your lawyer’s suggestions and keep the relationship under wraps and out of the public eye. Even though it may seem like your divorce is taking forever, you owe it to yourself to not stir up the dust.

Source: https://www.divorcemag.com/articles/dating-during-divorce/

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Divorce Filings Peak in August and March

The summer and the holiday season may put a strain on your marriage. That’s according to new research from the University of Washington that suggests divorce rates follow a biannual pattern, spiking in August and March, Refinery29 reports.

On August 21, researchers presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle. Analysis of 14 years of divorce filings in Washington state revealed that the chances of a couple filing for divorce rose considerably during those two months. One possible explanation researchers gave for the trend is the raised expectations, and inevitable disappointment, that comes with the winter and summer holidays.

“[The holidays] represent periods in the year when there’s the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life,” researcher and associate sociology professor Julie Brines said in a press release. “It’s like an optimism cycle, in a sense.”

Brines also points out that these seasons represent “culturally sacred times,” so filing for divorce in the middle of summer vacation or before a trip to see the in-laws might be seen as inappropriate. Though the study was limited to couples in Washington state, researchers said they found comparable patterns in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona where divorce laws are similar but demographics and economic conditions diverge.

Data based on general break-ups rather than divorces specifically also suggests that spring is a rough time for love. When data visualization expert David McCandless searched 10,000 Facebook statuses for the phrases “break up” and “broken up,” March was one of the months that came up the most. The second peak he saw also occurred around the winter holidays, but Facebook users tended to get their splits out of the way two weeks ahead of Christmas rather than riding the relationship out until the new year. Fewer presents to buy that way.

Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/85270/divorce-filings-peak-august-and-march

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Older Women & Divorce

"Till death do us part," brides and grooms may have once said, but increasing numbers of Americans aged 50-plus are getting divorced. In fact, the divorce rate among this age group -- referred to by sociologists as "the gray divorcees" -- has doubled since 1990, reports Sam Roberts in The New York Times. Increasingly, it is the older woman who starts divorce proceedings, reveals Lisa Bendall in her article "Divorce Goes Grey," for the Canada Association for Retired Persons magazine. Divorce may be both a positive and negative experience at any age, but certain challenges and opportunities are common for the older divorcing woman.


One of the main reasons women over 50 get divorced is that they reach a point in their lives when they don't have to worry about staying together for the sake of the children. The kids have grown and left home, sociologist Barbara Mitchell tells Bendall, and couples may feel free to deal with ongoing problems. For those women who are approaching retirement, they may take a closer look at their lives and realize nothing is stopping them from leaving an unhappy marriage. Women who have experienced working life are becoming increasingly empowered, due to a sense of financial independence, says Mitchell, meaning they are willing to face the challenges of divorce in order to escape unhappy marriages. People are living longer, explains Rachel L. Swarns in the article, "More Americans Rejecting Marriage in 50s and Beyond," for The New York Times, meaning increasing numbers of women are reluctant to spend a decade or more with a husband they aren't happy with.


Many older women worry about the financial challenges of divorcing in their 50s and beyond, says divorce coach Judy Smith, in the article "Divorce Over 50: The Challenges Are Different," on judysmithdivorcecoach.com. If a women has never had to deal with household finances, the thought of paying bills or balancing a checkbook may be intimidating. Whether an older woman has instigated the divorce or not, she may suffer from an identity crisis if her entire adult identity was linked to her husband and his career. Facing up to the prospect of loneliness may also be an issue after many years, or even decades, of living with a spouse. An older woman going through a divorce is faced with the same emotions a younger woman is, including anger, depression, grief, insecurity and fear, says Smith.


Getting divorced late in life may bring excellent opportunities for personal growth, according to Bendall. With no young children to care for, and retirement to enjoy or look forward to, the older woman has the time to pursue new hobbies, learn new skills, and establish new social circles. She can put her own needs, desires and passions first, possibly for the first time in her life. Starting over at this stage can bring happiness, satisfaction and freedom, says Swarns, whether it comes from starting a new business, getting involved in voluntary work, or taking advantage of time alone to meditate or exercise.


A divorce support group for women can be particularly helpful, says Smith, who was divorced in her 50s, and there is no need to worry that you will be the oldest in the group. When Smith attended her first divorce support group, she found that the majority of the attendees were also women aged 50-plus. Surround yourself with positive friends and family, advise divorce lawyers from the Thomas Chase Stutzman law firm, in the article "Special Tips for Divorced Women in Their 50s." An older woman, without the responsibility of caring for young children, may find herself with a lot of time on her hands, and end up dwelling on the breakdown of her marriage. A counselor or therapist may be able to provide the support she needs to move on.

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/168294-older-women-divorce/

Monday, 23 July 2018

6 Smart Ways to Get Through a Breakup Without Trashing Your Finances

Are you recently single?

Join the club. (Just be thankful you didn’t experience it right at the beginning of Dry January.)

Anyway, you might be sitting on the couch crying with all of the lights in your apartment turned off. Or maybe you’re sipping champagne and painting your nails red (you do you, boo).

Either way, if you’re feeling confused, apathetic or just flat out have no idea what’s going to happen next, here’s something to feel relieved about: One thing you do have control over right now is your money.

6 Ways to Get Over a Breakup Without Going Broke

Even if you shared your finances, it’s still possible to take a step back and get them under control — you just need to implement a smart plan.

Here’s how to keep your financial situation together when you feel like the rest of your life is falling apart.

1. Re-evaluate Your Budget

Now that it’s just you, you’ll probably need to re-evaluate your budget as soon as possible.
My ex and I split groceries and bills, so my expenses almost doubled without him.

On the other hand, if the jerk was a freeloader, congratulations — you can now spend your money on something other than a waste of space.

By re-evaluating your budget, you can cut costs you can no longer afford and still manage to stay afloat without your freshly exiled human.

2. Think Twice Before You “Treat Yo’ Self”

We love the idea of treating yourself — but we don’t love how expensive it can get.

If you want to indulge in something like a spa day, Michelle Hung, chartered financial analyst and founder of The Sassy Investor, recommends doing it at home.

She recommends doing facials with some friends, stating face masks “can just cost a few dollars,” and also recommends doing manicures or pedicures at home or at a friend’s house.

Also you don’t need to go out and buy elaborate material goods to feel better — here are a few ways to treat yo’ self for free.

3. Put Down the Credit Card

After a breakup, you might want to go out and spend, spend, spend — because you deserve it, right?

By all means, if you can afford it, do it — but if you have to charge it, don’t you dare!
Financial coach Craig Dacy recommends figuring out what your budget allows you to spend and then going from there.

“If you decide $200 is something that makes sense in your budget, go and withdraw that money and keep it in cash,” Dacy says. “By having this money in cash, it is much more difficult to accidentally overspend because it is separated from your other money. When the cash is gone, you know that you have hit your limit.”

(Tip: If getting cash out of the bank is inconvenient for you, Hung recommends you purchase gift cards instead — when they run out, they run out!)

Credit cards can potentially have limits of thousands of dollars, which can entice you to overspend. Try putting your credit card in your sock drawer until the initial shock of the breakup wears off and you’re back in a position to make steady financial decisions.

4. When You Feel Like Spending, Write

Aside from writing down how you’re feeling about your recent life changes, you could also try writing when you feel like going out and spending money.

Hung tells her clients to write when they feel like spending money, mainly because seeing the costs on paper can clarify that they may be heading into a overspend spiral.

“Writing down and actually seeing the numbers is a really big wake up call,” Hung says. “It’s the same as when you look at your credit card bill, and you see everything add up — you might think, ‘Holy crap, did I really spend that much?’”

Writing down what you want to purchase before you actually do it can really put it into perspective for you. You can ask yourself: Does it fit into your budget? Do you really need these things? Are there cheaper alternatives?

It’s all about awareness.

5. Spend Time with Family and Friends

If you want to be around people during your healing time, make sure it’s with those who are close to you.

Your family and friends are the ones who can help you heal emotionally. In a time where you probably feel horrible, there’s nothing like sitting on the porch with your mom or going for a ride in the car with your best friend.

Talking is important during a healing process, and these are the people who want to listen to you.

Not only will they support you emotionally, these are also the people who might even be willing to buy you a beer or lunch without thinking twice. It’s okay to lean on friends every once in a while for these things — just don’t become a freeloader!

On the other hand, make sure you surround yourself with people who will keep you both emotionally and financially on track.

“Choosing your shopping buddy may not be the best person to lean on during this time,” Dacy explains. “Find someone that understands your financial goals and will help you move on without giving you the ‘you deserve it’ pep talk in the checkout line.”

6. Sell the Stuff That Makes You Think of Your Ex

If you know they’re gone for good, what’s the harm in selling things they gave you or left behind?

You could profit off of last year’s anniversary gift or last week’s spontaneous purchase at the Sunday market.

If you’re ready to make some extra cash off your breakup, check out these ways to sell your ex’s stuff.

(Side note: Just be sure you’re emotionally ready to let go of those items — that’s more important than making money from them!)

Source: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/how-to-get-over-a-breakup-without-going-broke/?aff_id=2&aff_sub2=costs-of-life-after-divorce

Saturday, 21 July 2018

The 5 Stages Of Divorce (And How To Turn Your Relationship Around Before It's Too Late)

There are many things you can do to turn your relationship around when you find yourself on a rocky road, if you’re willing to team up and face reality together—and that will only happen if you both wantyour marriage to last. The key factor in getting back on track is turning things around as early as possible. It happens over different time frames for different people, but at some point, you reach the point of no return.

Marriage therapists often describe five stages in the divorce process that start long before the D-word is ever mentioned by couples. Here, I'll describe each stage and explain how you might start to redirect when it's still possible.

1. Dissatisfaction:

This is a place of disillusionment, where you have a growing sense of disappointment about the way your relationship is going and how you feel around your partner. Maybe the spark has gone out of the relationship and it feels flat. Criticism may creep into your everyday conversations and actions.

Ignore these warning signs at your peril—finding yourself regularly feeling disappointed and flat about your relationship is no small thing. Getting help at this point is likely to be beneficial because you’re probably still both open to change and not yet so resentful of each other that you stop wanting to try. Sadly, one of the most common mistakes couples make is to shut their eyes and keep careening dangerously towards the end of the road believing things will just magically fix themselves. Most of the time, they don’t.

How to turn it around:

Turning around means consciously putting energy into your love like you did at the start, creating a shared focus on connecting, increasing awareness of your relationship vulnerabilities and strengths, seeking strategies to reconnect deeply, learning skills, and building generosity of spirit toward one another again. You must move away from dissatisfaction and back into happiness before too much damage is done to your relationship.

Start by finding the courage to own how you really feel, without defensiveness or blaming. Consider getting couples counseling earlier rather than later, because that’s when it will be most helpful. If that’s too difficult or daunting, at least gather some basic resources that will help you start a new conversation together—some books or an online relationship class to prompt you to face your dissatisfaction head-on together.

2. Emotional erosion:

This is where you stop caring as much about your partner—or worse, developing a sense of resentment and apathy about doing anything to improve your closeness and communication. The distance between the two of you may seem to increase every week. but you don’t pay too much attention. Couples who don’t turn around at this stage tend to increasingly distract themselves and hope the relationship will fix itself. It can last weeks or years depending on how much you can stomach.

How to turn it around:

As you drive around the communication boulders on this rocky road, you start to clearly see why turning around sooner would have been a better idea. The less interest you have in healing the relationship, the more resistance you'll face when you try to turn things around. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily too late. If you care enough to save your relationship, that's enough to take the first step. At this point, professional intervention is your best bet. Try to start regular counselling on your own, if your partner isn't open to it initially—as soon as possible. That way, even if it doesn't work out in the end, you'll know you did everything you could to save the relationship. And you'll be prepared to move forward in a much healthier way.

3. Loneliness:

In this third stage of a fading relationship trajectory, if you open your tired eyes, you’ll realize that glaringly obvious danger signs have been all over the road for miles. The signs tell you to find each other again urgently—to reactivate intimacy or risk losing it permanently. This is a place of emotional detachment, to the point that other interests—children, friends, work, sports, or even another potential lover may become more important to you than each other. 
Instead of the disappointment and confusion of dissatisfaction or the anger and resentment of the erosion you may start to feel what Pink Floyd called "comfortably numb." This stage usually ends when something bright and shiny at the side of the road suddenly catches your eye and you feel alive again, awoken to what you’ve been missing. Trouble is, you’re likely to jump out of the car on your own to chase it, causing injury to every heart.

How to turn it around:

Act now if you want to save the relationship with openness, energy, empathy, love, and most of all by teaming up again. This is your relationship’s trial by fire. It shouldn’t have come to this, but it has. Now, you must really fight for each other. Turn to one another with a shared focus, or keep gazing out the side windows, ignoring each other, at your own peril.
Still haven’t managed to turn the car around?

If you've been trying your best and it still hasn't happened, know that it's not your fault. You can't do it alone. It absolutely takes two. Taking the best path is ultimately knowing in your heart that you did your best.

4. The fork in the road:

The fourth stage of the journey to divorce is the fork in the road. Here, single street meets the road you've been on, and your paths diverge. It’s here that you must make the final decision to turn the car around together. Otherwise, it's time to go on alone. Either way, it’s your responsibility to yourselves and any children you have to choose your path with dignity and handle the fallout with maturity and grace.

People survive divorce, but abuse, unkindness, and chaos cause damage—whether a couple stays together or not. If you decide to go your separate ways, don’t let it be any more painful than it has to be.

That's not easy to do when you feel (understandably) angry, lost, panicked, and hurt, but here's how you stay in control.

Remember that behaving in any way other than with kindness and within your values will hurt everyone even more—including yourself. It will extend your recovery time and intensify the pain all round.

If you haven't yet, get help now. Breaking up is hard to do. You must both get all the support you can and treat each other with compassion.

5. Mourning:

The final destination on the journey through divorce is a place of sadness and reflection, but maybe also relief. Here, you can finish this relationship journey, remember what was good, and strive to understand what went wrong. You can hope for a better future for all parties involved and do your best to create it.

Acknowledge all the things you are mourning. The end of a marriage means changes to home and family forever, but you will survive and you can all thrive again.

Get support. Allow yourself to feel pride for the mature way you handled things during such a difficult time in your lives. Then focus on growth and learning so that there will be less of a chance of repeating past mistakes in future relationships.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/5-stages-of-divorce-how-to-stop-your-relationship-from-ending

Friday, 20 July 2018

Know who you are, where you are and where you are going

Knowing who you are, where you are and where you're trying to go are all essential as we work through times of hardship or seek out personal growth or improvement.

In this video I'll discuss how we can become defined by our 'back-story', the events that happen in our life and help to shape us. These can be useful experiences that help us grow, or they can become labels that we unhelpfully cling to or apply to ourselves.

I also share the importance of understanding exactly where you are in life and any given process of improvement or journey through (and out of) adversity. Finally, I'll describe the importance of being clear about your goals, where you're going and figuring out how you're going to get there.

If you'd like to receive the occasional message from me containing thoughts, information or inspiration related to living a better life after divorce, you can join my mailing list at the following link:


You can also subscribe to my free podcast, Kintsugi Life at:


Thanks and have a great day!


Rules of Engagement: Setting the Stage for Post-Divorce Dating With Kids

This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is now that your divorce is final and you survived the temporary insanity that it caused, you’re ready to consider another relationship. The bad news is next to divorce, getting into a new relationship is the second leading cause of temporary insanity.

I’m not trying to be a buzzkill here. A new relationship can be an exhilarating and blissful experience. But to avoid putting yourself and your kids through another round of family drama, you have to be very aware of what you’re doing — just like you were during your divorce.

Here are some guidelines to help you steer clear of trouble:

Make It A Feature Length Movie, Not A Short Film. That initial phase of a new relationship can be one of the most amazing rushes ever. Everything about it makes you want to go full speed ahead, taking your relationship from brand new boyfriend to forever-and-ever life partner in a matter of days. But because you are a responsible grown-up, you know that would be a really stupid thing to do. After all, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. You remember the living hell that your divorce was. And if you really work at it, you can even vaguely remember how you were once head-over-heals in love with your ex. So, you know full well that sometimes things that seem really amazing in the very beginning turn out to be pretty terrible in the end. The last thing you want to do is to jeopardize the life that you have carefully reconstructed for yourself and your kids. Just as you enjoy a piece of cake one delicious forkful at a time rather than swallowing it whole; take the time to savor each minute of this phase of your relationship rather than rushing ahead.

Don’t Fast Forward. Here’s a common misstep divorced women make when it comes to new relationships: As soon as they’ve been on two dates with a guy, they want to introduce him to their kids. Your kids have had enough rough sailing for the time being. The last thing they need is a bunch of waves created by moving too fast with your new boyfriend.

Your love life can have a big emotional impact on your kids. If they end up liking the guy they will form an attachment to him. Then, if you end up breaking up sooner rather than later that sets them up for a loss that was totally avoidable. If, on the other hand, they end up not liking him, then your boyfriend can become a wedge between you and your kids, and that creates tension for everyone.

Protect your kids and your home life by holding off on the introduction until you’re sure it’s worth the upheaval it has the potential to cause. Don’t introduce your new love interest until you know him really well and you’re reasonably certain he’s going to be around for the foreseeable future. I’m talking about a vetting period measured in months, not days. Feel free to date, but try to schedule your dates on evenings that your kids are with their dad or otherwise away.

Don’t Treat Kids Like Oscars. If your new boyfriend has kids, resist the urge to wage a campaign to win them over right away. Women who do this think that getting in good with the kids will help impress their new love interest and advance their budding romantic relationship. Not only is this strategy unfair, it often backfires.

It’s not fair because it involves manipulating the emotions of children simply to further your love life. That’s a pretty crappy thing to do. It backfires because when you start off acting like a fan rather than a friend, you often end up pretending to be someone you’re not. It won’t take long for the kids to figure out that you really aren’t who you pretended to be, and they will then conclude that you were using them to get in good with their dad. At that point you will have your first obstacle to overcome — one that is completely your fault.

A better approach is to have the patience to get to know each other gradually. Rather than pretending to like every single thing about the kids only to have your real opinions come out later; you can slowly discover what you honestly have in common. You won’t like every thing about his kids, and they won’t like every single thing about you. But you will both be able to trust that your opinions are honest and the developing relationship is genuine.

Of course, women aren’t the only ones who do this. Make sure you don’t let your new boyfriend approach your kids like they are Oscars that can be won if his performance is impressive enough. Your kids deserve to be treated like people who are worthy of respect, not prizes that are up for grabs. 

Don’t Act Like You’re Auditioning For Replacement Parent. Don’t encourage your kids to call your new love interest Dad or invite his kids to call you Mom. These kids already have a mom and a dad, and being told to start calling someone else Mom or Dad only serves to confuse them or make them feel awkward; and it could even cause tension with their actual mom or dad. Instead, model for them what it looks like to approach a relationship in a mature manner: slowly and with respect and restraint. That’s a lesson that will serve them well in many ways.

You’re The Casting Director Of Your Love Life. Your kids don’t get to decide who gets cast as your boyfriend — that’s your decision. But they do get to decide whether they themselves like him. And don’t be surprised if they don’t at first. Many kids are not thrilled to have a new leading man waltzing into their house and changing up the family dynamic. While you can’t order them to like your new boyfriend, you can insist that they treat him with respect while everyone works through the transition. The best way to maximize the chances that your kids will eventually like your boyfriend is to be selective about who you choose to begin with, carefully vet him before you make any introductions, and then continue to take things slowly once you do.

Handling Negative Reviews. If your kids don’t like your boyfriend, give them a chance to explain the basis for their opinion. If they tell you that he gives them a creepy feeling, they caught him rifling through your jewelry box, or he told them he’s a reptile freak and he’s in the process of setting up a snake aquarium in his house, these are serious complaints and you should break up with him immediately. But if they tell you he is an attention hog or that you really don’t need a boyfriend, anyway, because you have them, that’s a different story. Complaints of that nature indicate that their objections aren’t based on anything specific to him; but rather they dislike the idea of your having any boyfriend at all.

Their views are understandable. After all, these are your kids. From their standpoint, there’s a big gross out factor when it comes to the idea of their mom being all starry-eyed over some guy and doing all of those things that go along with dating. And what kid wouldn’t get his back up over some new guy cutting in on the time and attention they get from their mom?

But while their complaints might be understandable, that doesn’t make them legitimate. There’s no need to break up with your boyfriend over unfounded complaints. In fact, doing so would send your kids the message that they have ultimate authority over your love life, and that would set a precedent that you would quickly come to regret. While breaking up isn’t wise, making some adjustments to take the pressure off everyone would be a very smart move. Continue to see your boyfriend, but go back to seeing him away from the house and/or at times when your kids are not around. Don’t hide the fact you’re continuing to see him; just don’t include your kids in your plans.

Over time, your kids will adjust to the idea of your having a boyfriend and their resistance will diminish. Then you can slowly ramp up the occasions when your boyfriend is included in family events. A side benefit of this approach is it affords you additional time to get to know him, which means you will be that much more sure of things before he gets involved in your kids’ lives. And your reward for being sensitive to your kids’ needs is that your kids will be far more likely to actually like your new flame (rather than simply accepting him) if they don’t feel like he is being forced on them. And all of that gives your relationship a greater chance of succeeding.

Don’t Give Your Kids A Supporting Role. Every relationship — even a brand new one involving a guy you are totally smitten with — has its share of bumps in the road. Because you’re coming off a divorce and you haven’t dealt with the dynamics of a new relationship in a very long time, it’s natural for you to want to process these developments by talking them out with someone to get a little perspective. That’s fine — as long as that someone is not one of your kids.

You may feel that talking to your kids about your dating life makes you look cool or bonds you together in a new way. But it really constitutes over-sharing that runs the risk of causing your kids to see you more as a teenager and less as a parent; and that will diminish their respect for you. Also, they will be predisposed to take your side in any spats you have with your boyfriend, and that can interfere with their relationship with him in the long run. You and your boyfriend may kiss and make up, but your kid may find it hard to forgive and forget.

Have A Heart-to-Heart With Your New Heartthrob. Before you and your boyfriend meet each other’s kids, you should talk about these points to make sure you are both on the same page. If you don’t feel comfortable enough with him to have that conversation, you do not yet know him well enough to introduce him to your kids. And if you find yourself more worried about how he will react than how your kids are going to be treated, that’s a pretty clear sign that you’re suffering from temporary insanity. When you put concerns about your new relationship ahead of concerns for your children, you need to spend less time dating and more time thinking about your priorities.

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-pesoli/rules-of-engagement-setti_b_3613901.html

Thursday, 19 July 2018

7 Things to Know About Divorcing During Your Senior Years

You thought it was until death do you part, but now you're headed to divorce court.

Dubbed “gray divorce” by some, calling it quits during your senior years may no longer be a decision that raises eyebrows. The divorce rate for those ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to a study by Bowling Green State University sociologists.

While remarriages tend to have higher divorce rates, it isn’t only people on their second or third spouse who are seeing their marriage dissolve. The BGSU study published in The Journals of Gerontology found that 48 percent of divorcees were in their first marriage.

If it looks like your happily ever after is ending, here are seven things family law experts say you need to know.

1. Alimony is almost always granted after long-term marriages.

While younger couples may have temporary alimony agreements that provide financial support for their ex, often only long enough for lower earning spouses to get back on their feet, it’s a different situation for those exiting long-term marriages. “In New York, for example, the court will generally give alimony for life,” says Bruce Provda, a divorce attorney in New York City.

What’s customary for alimony can vary, but legal experts say senior couples can expect it to play some role in their divorce proceedings.

“If they’re working, they’re going to pay some alimony,” says Bob Boyd, a partner with the Atlanta law firm Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle and past president of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

2. Your retirement money is about to be cut in half.
It doesn’t matter if one spouse was considered at-fault for the divorce; attorneys say retirement funds and other assets are likely to be split evenly.

“What looked like a lot of money to live on in your senior years doesn’t look like much when cut in half,” Boyd says.

Provda adds that some spouses may offer more of their pension to avoid making alimony payments. However, it may not be a person’s best interest to accept a deal that would trade tax-favored investments for potentially taxable income.

3. If you keep the house, you’re giving up something else.

Boyd says many women balk at giving up their marital residence. While it can be an emotional decision to give up a longtime home, it’s one that makes the most financial sense, particularly when courts often split assets evenly.

“If you take the house, it has a value,” Boyd says. “[Then your husband] is going to get something in his column to balance that out.”

That something could be a greater share of a pension or a smaller alimony obligation. Either way, keeping the house and giving up retirement savings or cash payments could put a person in a bind. Houses come with property taxes, maintenance expenses and other costs that can stretch already meager financial resources.

4. Your kids may be older, but they might still be a factor.

“Divorce is always a hard transition at any stage,” says Christina Pesoli, a family law attorney in Austin, Texas, and author of “Break Free from the Divortex.” “The silver lining [of senior divorce] is that it’s not going to have the same gut-wrenching kid issues that younger couples have.”

In most gray divorces, child support and visitation orders are out of the picture. However, that doesn’t mean adult children aren’t a consideration in the divorce proceedings.

Nancy Chemtob, a matrimonial attorney and founding partner of Chemtob Moss & Forman in New York City, says it’s not unusual for parents to provide financial support for adult children. While adult children may want this support to continue, it’s not something typically written into a divorce agreement unless a child has a disability or is in school.

“You can’t obligate someone to pay a third party,” Chemtob says. The same applies to couples who may be supporting elderly parents. As a result, some divorcees may end up in the difficult position of having to decide whether to use their diminished savings or income to continue this support.

Finally, adult children may react emotionally to their parents’ divorce. Pesoli says there is no reason to overshare if everyone seems to be adjusting appropriately, but parents shouldn’t have to keep the reasons behind the divorce a secret. “Share if it brings resolution and is needed to help kids make sense of what’s happening,” she says.

5. Being bitter benefits no one, but there is no reason to be a buddy to your ex.

Emotions run high during a divorce, but experts say to try to keep conversations neutral.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, be as amicable as possible,” Chemtob advises. “There is no benefit in having a contentious divorce.”

Pesoli agrees but adds that being amicable isn’t the same as being an open book. Sharing information such as future plans, favorite possessions or desired assets could give a spouse considerable negotiating power during divorce proceedings.

“Be polite, be civil, but keep it businesslike,” Pesoli advises.

6. Make new friends, but don’t start dating before your divorce is final.

Getting a divorce can have an impact on relationships beyond the marriage. It can polarize friends and leave some ex-spouses feeling alone and defensive.

“It’s so important, as a senior person, when you get a divorce to not let yourself be isolated,” Boyd says.

Possible outlets for social interaction could be community events, volunteer activities or even hitting the campaign trail for your favorite candidate in the next election. However, Pesoli says newly single seniors shouldn’t make the mistake of squandering their blank slate and jumping into a new relationship too quickly.

“Dating before your divorce is final never makes things better,” Pesoli says. It can upset children, anger the soon-to-be ex-spouse and add time and money to the proceedings.
7. Get a prenuptial agreement for the second time around.

With remarriages being more likely to end in divorce than first marriages, family law experts advise anyone considering another union to get a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a second divorce can take retirement savings that have already been split once and divide them even further.

“If I were getting married for the second time in my senior years,” Boyd says, “I would surely get a prenuptial agreement.”

Source: https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2015/04/24/7-things-to-know-about-divorcing-during-your-senior-years

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

What to Expect When You’re Divorcing: The Real Costs of Living Single Again

When Sean Sutherland‘s divorce was finalized, he realized he had to toss his original plans for the future out the window.

Uncertainty about starting a new life started creeping into his head.

He was faced with questions about life after divorce he wasn’t sure how to answer: Will one income sustain me? Do I want to stay in an area that’s associated with memories of the relationship and people close to it?

While Sutherland, a Baltimore resident, considers himself lucky for having generous and supportive friends during his time of need, he still felt a financial burn from the startup costs of his new life.

Even though his divorce was finalized in January 2016, he still feels that burn to this day.
Life After Divorce Is Costly for Everyone

Sutherland isn’t alone in that he still feels the financial impact of his divorce.
It’s well-known that getting a divorce is an expensive process. Between litigation fees, charges for document copies, attorney bills and more, the expenses can leave you financially drained.

But the money woes don’t stop there — it’s actually where they begin. Once the papers are signed and the judge approves your divorce, your world opens up to a whole new variety of expenses.

The true cost of life after divorce includes everything from establishing separate residences and obtaining new insurance policies to getting back in the dating field.

Here are some examples of just how much it costs to start your life over again.

You’ll Have to Find New Living Arrangements

You and your ex-spouse probably shared an apartment or home, meaning you’ll be faced with finding new living arrangements.

If you’re renting, chances are you’ll have to come up with some large upfront costs, such as a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent.

Depending on your divorce agreement, you might not get all of your previous home’s furnishings, which means you’ll have to pay to replace those, too.

Lizabeth Cole, director of public relations and communications at The Penny Hoarder, had to start nearly from scratch after her divorce was finalised.

While she took small pieces of furniture from her former home, she had to replace all of her bigger furniture, along with linens, kitchenware, towels and more.

On top of that, she had to pay a security deposit and first month’s rent for her new apartment. In total, she estimates she spent about $3,000 on securing and furnishing her new residence.

Depending on location and the size of the home, these costs vary widely.

Rebuilding Your Savings Might Take Time

For Sutherland, the 50-50 split of his savings was the biggest financial strain. He said he funded their nest egg, with the intention of the two of them living off it in the future. But he and his ex-wife agreed to split it in the divorce, which left him in a new reality.

“It certainly derailed the plans I had and the vision for what my future would be,” Sutherland said. “Cutting a net worth in half is a big hit for anyone to take, let alone someone who was still pretty young and in the early stages of my career.”

Sutherland lost around $15,000 when he split the savings with his ex; it’s taken him nearly two years to get within reach of where he was before the divorce.

You’ll Have to Pay the Bills on Your Own

It’s common for people to combine finances with their significant other.

Once you get a divorce, though, you no longer have someone to split bills with. If you’ve been doing this for dozens of years, you may find it difficult at first to adjust your spending habits.

There are plenty of ways to get back on track after a breakup, though. Doing things such as re-evaluating your budget, thinking twice before making emotional purchases and preparing for financial success can help you get acclimated to only having your own money to spend.

You Need Your Own Insurance Policies

No longer being married means you may not have the advantage of bundled services, such as auto and health insurance.

Examples of policies and services you will have to hold on your own include:

Auto insurance: If you and your spouse were on the same auto insurance policy, you may have received a multicar discount. Now you will have to seek out your own plan, and it might cost more to cover your car. According to The Zebra, a single person saves about 5.6% when they get married, which equates to about $74 extra. Getting divorced increases premiums to nearly the same rate a single person pays.

Health insurance: If your ex had you on their health insurance plan, you will now have to find your own coverage.

Disability insurance: After getting divorced, you may owe your ex-spouse alimony or child support. You may want to purchase disability insurance so you can make the court-mandated payments should you unexpectedly experience an illness or accident that prevents you from earning money.

You’re Now a Single Tax Filer

Filing joint taxes when you’re married usually means you get certain benefits, like tax breaks and increased standard deductions. That means that as a single filer, you could see your income taxes increase.

Don’t Forget About the Cell Phone Plans

If you and your ex-spouse or significant other split a cell phone bill, you’re going to have to think about what to do next.

Many cell phone plans involve contracts that are costly to terminate. However, if your divorce isn’t exactly amicable, you might want to consider canceling the plan.

Erin Routzahn, senior account manager at The Penny Hoarder, shared a cell phone plan with her ex-boyfriend of two years. After they separated, they opted to terminate the plan.

The total cost to cancel it was $300, which they split.

Your Mental Health — an Overlooked Cost of Divorce
Caring for your mental health may not be an expense you considered part, but Elise Pettus, founder of divorce community group UNtied, thinks you should factor it in.

She compares divorce process to the grieving process, saying you might be “grieving the dream of having a family.”

“I do think therapy is a good idea,” Pettus said. “One of the things I see happen again and again is how helpful it is to have a community of others who are going through the same thing.”

If you’re turned off by traditional therapy due to the stigma or cost, there are outside resources available to help you. Examples include communities like UNtied or divorce recovery support groups. Some of these programs charge membership fees, and some don’t. Be sure to do your research.

Good News: You’ll Probably Need to Think About the Costs of Dating Again

After recovering emotionally from your divorce, you may consider dating again. While this is an exciting time in your personal recovery, keep in mind that it can be expensive.

Many adults spend $150 to $250 on a single date, including dinner, drinks and transportation.

Due to the rapid expansion of dating technology, we’re going on more first dates. That being said, some leave the traditional standards of who should be paying for the first date in the dust. Some people split the bill, others go simply for the free food.

The good news is, you don’t always have to go out to dinner for a date. Consider doing cheap or free activities such as bike riding or happy-hour hopping to save on costs.

A New Life: Expensive at First, But Worth It

The costs of starting a new life after divorce are significant, but with a new beginning comes hope.

Joy Prosperity Coaching founder and business coach Joy Passey signed her divorce papers in March 2014, after 13 years of marriage. Although she had to find her own health insurance plan, she also spent money on self-care and time with her friends.

“My friends said I became more fun when I got divorced,” Passey wrote in an email. “Ha! I also started improvisational classes and started performing again. I became a better version of my former self after my divorce!”

If you find yourself struggling financially while you readjust to life on your own, know that you aren’t alone.

Sutherland rebuilt his savings by working as much as possible in the months following the divorce. He even took on a second job, where he worked most weekends. For him, rebuilding his savings came as a “mental victory,” and keeping busy with multiple jobs helped him move on.

Sutherland offers a few words of advice to those who may feel like they aren’t able to get back on track financially:

“The best advice I can give is that you will get through this: Once the immediate shock is over, do your best to replace the funds you've lost — increase your savings, decrease your spending, but do so on your own terms. Only you can know what the right pace is for cutting back or cutting loose with your spending during these tough times.”

Here’s to new beginnings.

Source: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/smart-money/costs-of-life-after-divorce/