Getting divorced can be emotionally taxing. Aside from the loss of a relationship, however, the greatest challenge is figuring out how to go from a two-income household to a single-income household. Now that you won’t be sharing your living expenses with another contributing adult, it’s important that you plan for your financial future.
1. Work with your ex
Divorce can be especially painful on children, but parents should work together to ensure the transition to their new lives isn’t traumatizing. Discuss how the two of you can keep their lives as normal as possible. Continue to take your kids to their daily activities and maintain any obligations you had prior to the divorce, such as summer camp this year or a trip to their grandparents during the holidays. Commit to your ex that the two of you will contribute equally to the costs of your child’s extracurricular activities so that their lives outside of home remain the same.
2. Get a child or spousal support order in place
The next thing you can do to soften the blow of transitioning to a single-income household is to get a court order in place that requires your ex to pay spousal or child support. Even if the judge determines you are not entitled to an indefinite period of spousal support, he or she may require that your spouse maintain the household for a short period while you get onto your feet. And, if you will have primary physical custody of your child, the law will require your ex to pay a certain amount of child support monthly. This amount is determined based on their income and the child’s needs. Because your ex-spouse may be hiding money or assets, it is a good idea to hire an attorney who can help determine exactly what you are entitled to.
It may be hard on your ego, but if you can’t afford to fully support yourself after your divorce, you should consider downsizing immediately. Although this may be a shock to your children, your financial health is important to remain stress-free and emotionally present to care for your children. If you think you may have to move, be upfront with your children, but allow them to share their feelings as well. Allow your children to keep large items and furniture that can serve as a reminder of their former home.
4. Start saving
Now that you’re on your own, you won’t have a husband or wife to turn to in case of a financial emergency, such as needing new tires or having to fix a leaky roof. If you are able to do so, begin saving as much as you can for a rainy day fund since being caught off guard can be stressful and can lead to more problems for you and your children down the line.
Getting back on your feet after a divorce will mostly require personal responsibility and smart decision-making. However, there are some legal safeguards you can put into place to make sure your ex is contributing to your child’s financial needs. If you are facing divorce and need advice, reach out to the knowledgeable and caring legal professionals at the Law Offices of Kayleene H. Writer today.