No matter how well you prepare for getting a divorce, it’s very difficult to take all of the changes into account. In many states you’ll be required to essentially divide your possessions in half. If you happen to own a house with your spouse, there will be an issue of who owns the house, which means that you might need to find somewhere new to live in just a short period of time. While getting a divorce is always going to be stressful, it’s possible for you to survive your divorce as long as you know what to expect.
Changes to Anticipate Following a Divorce
Once you file for a divorce, there are going to be numerous changes that will likely occur in rapid succession. Whether you’ve been married for two years or twenty, these changes can be difficult to deal with at the beginning, which can be caused by a worsening of your standard of living. Even if you made far more money than your spouse, it’s likely that some of your income will need to go to alimony payments on a monthly basis.
Since your standard of living will almost assuredly be lower, it’s important that you do what you can to prepare yourself emotionally and financially for this eventuality. If you can reduce some of the stress that’s inherent with getting a divorce, you should be able to survive this situation and land on your feet. To reduce your stress, it’s highly recommended that you be proactive. The primary changes that occur after a divorce involve financial changes. If you anticipate these changes before your divorce, you should be able to handle them well.
How Your Finances Will Change
Your income will almost certainly drop after you get a divorce. As such, it’s important that you develop a budget before the divorce has been finalized. This budget should be based entirely on your needs as opposed to your wants. After following this budget for a few months, you should have a better understanding of what you can spend going forward.
Make sure that you consider all sources of income that you have while planning a budget. Keep in mind that you may need to account for alimony and child support. It’s recommended that you make a spreadsheet of the monthly expenses that you will need to pay, which should include annual tax bills and insurance premiums. Once you’ve completed your budget, you might want to ask a close friend or family member to look it and make sure that you haven’t missed anything.
You should also be aware of the additional assets at stake. If you have a significant amount of liquid assets or retirement, your spouse may be entitled to half of them. The same if either party in the marriage has taken on a substantial amount of debt. Perform a full audit of any student loans, online payday loans, mortgages, or car payments that will need to be accounted for in the future.
Be Ready to Move
One of the largest hurdles that individuals experience when getting a divorce is finding a place to live. If your spouse wants to continue living in the house as opposed to selling it, you might need to start searching for a new apartment or home to invest in. The search for a new place to live can take up a significant amount of your time in the weeks before and after your divorce has been finalized. If your spouse wants to stay in the home, they would need to buy your share of the property, which can be done through a cash-out refinance, a property settlement note, or by giving up enough assets to match the value.
The assets or funds that you receive to cover your share of the property can help you with your move. For instance, the funds you obtain could be used to make a down payment on a new home. For an apartment, be prepared to make a down payment that’s equal to one month of rent. If you want to buy a home, most loans require a down payment of at least 3.5 percent of the property value. You’ll also want to have a good debt-to-income ratio and a relatively stable credit score.
Now that you know what to expect after a divorce, you should be ready to take control of your life. While there will almost certainly be difficulties in adjusting to your new life, the aforementioned tips and guidelines should make it easier for you to effectively navigate these hurdles.