Have you recently been divorced? Think back to your mindset at the beginning of your case. Were you worried about the future? Were you concerned about how your children would react to all the changes? Were you concerned about how you would respond to all the changes? What about the new lifestyle you would be living due to your divorce. Would you be able to adapt adequately to your new, single-income household?
Your mind was swirling in questions related to your divorce. So much of it was uncharted territory for you that you didn't know where to begin or what topic to tackle first. As you learned, the divorce process is not one where you can make changes wherever you want or focus on a particular issue—the process sort of picks you up and takes you along for the ride. Hopefully, you had a sound support system and attorney to help keep you centered during the ride.
Now that your divorce is finally over, you can re-approach all of the questions that I laid out in the opening paragraph of this blog. What's more important is that now you can do something about those issues according to your own goals and own timeline. There is no holding you back- unless, of course, you are the one holding yourself back.
Don't get in your way planning for the future after your divorce.
From my experience working with folks who are either divorced or working their way towards a completed divorce, it is normal to feel a little shell shocked after the process has wrapped itself up. No more battles to fight, no more negotiation sessions to attend- just you, your children, and the rest of your lives to look forward to. You may even feel like a bit of the "old" you has been stripped away, both in good and bad ways.
Many people feel like they cannot trust themselves like they once did after a divorce. The whole divorce process is, at its core, a realization that somewhere along the time, you and your ex-spouse made a mistake or two (or three). I'm not saying the marriage itself was a mistake, but for many, it probably was. You are now left to pick up the pieces of your life and put them back together to build something more suited to last for years to come.
With all of that said, now that you have the chance to make a change and chart a course for yourself in your post-divorce years, it would behoove you to do so. The best time to start planning for your future is ten years ago. The next best time to start planning for your future is today.
Today the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, will discuss with you how to plan for your financial future after a divorce. I think there are some specifically tailored points that we will make for you that an everyday financial advisor would not be able to provide you with.
Simple math can lead to some not so simple problems
The simple math I am referring to is that you most likely lived in a household with two incomes (yours and your spouse's). Now, you are living by yourself as a single adult. Maybe your kids live with you, and perhaps they live with your ex-spouse. The fact is that you will probably have less money to operate with than you did just a few months ago.
This will emphasize budgeting and watching your money. It would be best to be intentional with your spending as you approach your new life as a single adult. From my experiences, you cannot simply drift along from a financial perspective and expect to win with money. You need to tell your money where to go and make changes along the way as you develop a new lifestyle. If you cannot afford to live in the area you used to, you may need to pick up and move. Daycare for your children or after-school activities may need to be altered until you can better grasp what your new financial status will allow you to do.
Spousal maintenance is something that counts as income, and as such, you need to pay taxes on it at the end of each tax-year quarter. You should be familiar with this process if you own a small business. The failure to pay your taxes according to these guidelines will leave you with a big tax bill in April, which could put you in a jam from a financial standpoint.
You are considering Social Security and its impact on your finances.
If you are younger than age fifty, you may have never even considered the impact that Social Security could have on your life. If you and your spouse were married for longer than ten years, you need to be aware of your eligibility status for Social Security based on your marriage to your ex-spouse. You may be eligible to receive benefits under their name. Still, you will need to send in a copy of your marriage license as well as a copy of your final decree of divorce to the Social Security Administration.
The math behind the concept is this: when you become eligible for Social Security (more most folks, this is at age 62), then you would be able to receive benefits for yourself based on either your benefits or fifty percent of your spouse's benefits- whichever amount is more significant. Keep in mind that you would have to apply to receive either type of benefit. It is not something that will show up in your bank account automatically simply because you turned 62.
Take your financial plan piece by piece, and you can achieve your goals
By now, you know that divorce is a process that brings change. That change is unavoidable and can be significant. You will likely face challenges but will also be afforded opportunities due to sticking with the process and seeing it through until the end.
If you have questions about your divorce and how to set yourself for success after your divorce concludes, don't hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our team of attorneys is experienced in representing people just like you achieve their divorce goals. We put our client's interests ahead of our own and look into the future to help you get your life on track even after your case has concluded.
To speak with one of our licensed family law attorneys, please do not hesitate to contact our office today.