In this divorce series, we’re providing useful tips on how to improve your stress management and coping skills to better deal with the ups and downs of divorce. The dissolution of a marriage often destabilizes one or both spouses, at least for a period of time. You may be fearful of what lies ahead, but as radio-personality Art Bell once said, “fear is a great motivator.” Take the stress of this life-changing event and turn it into positive action.
In our previous post, we talked about the benefits of enlisting family and friends to lend a hand when you need help. We also discussed the importance of budgeting your time. Today, we pick up with the importance of financial budgeting.
● Coping with Divorce: Create a monthly budget – Now!
When couples separate, immediately there are two households to maintain where there was once one. Unless there is a corresponding increase in income, the same amount of money must be stretched to keep both households running. The Court may issue temporary orders for child support and spousal maintenance, and may also order one party or both parties to pay obligations while the divorce is ongoing. That doesn’t change the financial bottom line – there are two households now. Money is likely to be very tight with attorney fees, child custody evaluators, forensic accountants, private mediators, and any number of other professionals involved in your divorce.
Bankruptcy is all too often a financial consequence of divorce. Don’t behave as though money will somehow appear out of nowhere into your bank account. Or that your spouse will continue paying your Visa bill if he or she isn’t ordered to do so.
Protect yourself by creating a reasonable budget that includes all of your basic living expenses – food, rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, fuel for your vehicle, insurance, cable or internet service, and so on. Create your budget right away, so you know exactly what your domestic overhead is now and what you project it to be going forward. Once you have a budget, comply with it. Be very conservative with your money and avoid frivolous spending. The last thing you need is unpaid creditors and bill collectors hounding you for nonpayment. The divorce is stressful enough!
We’ll continue this discussion with our next post in this series on managing your time and coping with stress in the process of divorce.
Arizona Divorce Resource: