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How to Survive Financially After a Separation (Part 1)

by Dinnebier & Demmerle on November 26, 2013

Whether you recently left your spouse — or he or she suddenly announced at the breakfast table that your marriage was over — you’ve been in free fall.

Getting separated can be scary and disorienting. But one of the most “under discussed” challenges involves financial planning. You and your spouse likely planned your finances together and used each other’s incomes and resources to get things done.

When you separate, the rules change.

First of all, you may need to go to court to decide who gets what marital assets. Secondly, you may need to re-budget and rebalance your personal finances to deal with your new reality.

Start simply: make a personal budget.

Go through your receipts and bank accounts, and identify all your current spending. Make “line items” for fixed expenses, such as your rent or mortgage, your cell phone bill, your car and health insurance, etc. Estimate your variable expenses, such as your food and entertainment spending. Use accounting software, like Quicken, or work with a professional bookkeeper.

Get clear on the following:

•    What are your current assets, and where are they?
•    What’s your average personal monthly budget?
•    How much income do you bring in, and from what sources?

Getting control of your finances after a divorce is a project, not a one-time task. We’ll dive deeper into this topic in our next blog post. Until then, if you need legal help after a divorce, connect with our experienced divorce lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

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