Going through a divorce and dealing with its aftermath are never easy. The journey is often hard, especially for stay-at-home moms as they need to figure out a way to move on and reconstruct their life from scratch after the divorce is finalized.
During marriage, you might have become accustomed to a situation where your husband earned for the family while you took care of the home and looked after the children. However, both the responsibilities are suddenly on your shoulders after the divorce.
To get your life in order financially, you need to objectively review your monthly cash inflows and outflows in detail to understand what your new normal will be like and how to make modifications to reach there. Some suggestions are as follows:
Assess Your Housing Situation Carefully
The family home might have been important to you emotionally during the divorce process, but it is vital to assess the actual costs associated with that home now that you are totally responsible for it. To understand what the effect of downsizing to a more affordable house could have on your finances, you will have to run the numbers carefully.
You will have to assess the mortgage cost itself, plus insurance, taxes, and monthly expenses pertaining to the house’s maintenance, including HOA, utilities, and upkeep. Sometimes it is best to let go sooner rather than later. It will be a major strain on you if you cannot afford the home.
Boost Your Credit Score
Often, divorced women find that their credit score is lower than they anticipated, either because they did not have credit in their own names during the marriage or due to poor debt management as a couple during the marriage. Whatever the reason, now that you are on your own, it is crucial to work on your credit.
With a low credit score, you might be unable to rent an apartment. It may even impact future employment. On the other hand, a good credit score will ensure access to the best possible interest rates on loans. You can start rebuilding your credit by making small purchases using a credit card and immediately paying off the balance.
Also, you can set recurring payments to autopay to make sure that you’re always on time. If you cannot get a card on your own, it is a prudent idea to apply for a secured credit card as soon as possible.
Join the Workforce
You will likely need or want to start earning your own money, even if you receive alimony or child support. The faster you can rejoin the workforce and start earning money, the faster you will be financially independent and restore your financial confidence. You can start by contacting friends and former colleagues to network and let others know about the type of work you are seeking.
If you find that you are not ready or unable to go back to a full-time corporate job, remember that there are advantages to short-term and part-time jobs as well. A freelancer or work-from-home position will be suitable for you if you have small children to care for.
Today, various opportunities are available to work part-time and create an income to meet your expenses and keep things moving ahead, even before determining your next career move. Many people just work week to week until an appropriate career opportunity presents itself. Consider taking online classes to upskill yourself if your credentials need an upgrade.
Protect Yourself from Adverse Circumstances
As you are now fully responsible for your household’s finances, you will need to prepare for the unexpected. A nice place to start is creating an emergency cushion: Try to set funds to cover expenses for three to six months. Doing so will ensure that an emergency medical bill or damaged roof won’t make your finances go haywire. If setting aside three to six months’ worth of expenses doesn’t seem possible right now, you can start small by saving a little each month.
Besides, you can consider disability insurance, which protects your income if you sustain an injury or become ill and cannot work for a while. If your kids are financially dependent on you, ensure that you have adequate life insurance to get them through college and into adulthood.
Amend Your Estate Plan
You will want to assess all your end-of-life documents to determine whether any modifications need to be made. You might want to remove your ex-partner as your beneficiary and appoint a new power of attorney and health care proxy. If you had your ex-spouse in your old will, you might want to create a new one. These measures ensure that your assets go to the right person if something were to happen to you.
Talk to Compassionate and Skilled Alabama Family Law Attorneys
The compassionate and caring lawyers at Alsobrook Law Group can help you with any and all legal matters. Our attorneys will spend time understanding your concerns and offer strong legal counsel. In Auburn, Opelika, and surrounding communities, you can contact us at (334) 737-3718 for a no-charge, confidential consultation on your divorce, child custody, alimony, or other family law matters.