Divorce can often feel like a financial disaster. Not only is divorce expensive – the average divorce in Texas costs $15,300 and nearly twice as much with children and custody issues – but dealing with your finances after your divorce can feel just as daunting.
Luckily, Texas Legal members going through divorce have help on two fronts. Not only can Texas Legal help you defray some or all of the legal costs of your divorce, but we can help you with your post-divorce finances too. Through our partnership with Cornerstone Financial Education, you can access one-on-one financial counseling with a certified financial educator. The experts at Cornerstone frequently help families figure out their finances after divorce and can help you make your financial situation more manageable.
Here are a few tips on how to move forward financially after a divorce:
Start with a credit report.
When you’re looking at your finances, it’s always important to have a clear picture of what you’re currently dealing with. Since your finances have been intertwined with your former partner, you may be legally responsible for debt in both of your names or share their bad credit. A credit report will help you get a better idea of what you’re working with so you can move forward.
Create a Budget.
Good finances start with a good budget. It’s important to know what you’re bringing in and spending so you can plan. After a divorce, finances can change dramatically, so it’s important to start fresh and include additional expenses and alimony or child support, if applicable. Work up an honest budget so you can get a good picture of your financial situation.
Carrying a load of debt can be a lot harder on one income than it was on two. It might be time to look at a debt management program, or even think about declaring bankruptcy.
If you have less income and more expenses than you did before your divorce, you might need to get a big creative with making ends meet. Could you get a part time job on the side? Get rid of a big expense like a car loan? Try to think differently about your financial situation to come up with new solutions that will help you transition to this new stage in life.
Divorce is a huge transition and can be a very stressful time. But you can take a bit of the stress out of it by taking care of your finances up front and relying on your legal plan and partners like Cornerstone Financial Education to help get you through.