• Michael Barnes

How to Start Over Financially After Divorce

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

There are a multitude of emotions and decisions that we experience during and after

the divorce. These are real fears and concerns that affect us everyday. Some have to start over after divorce with absolutely no money in savings, and in some cases, the first check after everything is done is all you have to your name. It’s not fair, but

most of us experience a lower standard of living after the divorce decree is signed.

Many times the soon to be ex knew they were going to get out of the marriage way before we realize anything is wrong. Sometimes, they hide assets, start a secret checking account, take the secret date on a trip while we are adhering to the household budget at home, unaware of how our financial future is being threatened.

Some of my clients were staying in a weekly motel right after the hearing, waiting on their first check to figure out what is the next step in getting on their feet. I have one client who is living with his friend while he sorts out his next move.

The most important step in all of this is : Don’t make big decisions!

From the time we hear the words “I want a divorce”, we have to figure out how to keep ourselves functioning emotionally and physically during this overwhelming time in our lives. Many of us are dreading looking in the mailbox and seeing bills piling up. Figuring out the money part of our new after-divorce reality is part of the overall strategy to heal from the trauma that we have experienced.

Then other questions start filtering into our minds. Questions like “What about the legal costs?” “How much is the Alimony and Child Support going to be?” “Will I be able to afford it?”

So, what to do now? Since we aren’t making big decisions right now, what else should we do? The first thing is to PRIORITIZE what the needs are. A new car isn’t going to do anything for you if you have nothing to eat! Food is the priority! If you are hungry, you won’t have any motivation to do anything else! This is our survival instincts telling us what is important. Think about this for a second: When you were thinking about something important, and you were hungry, did you come to a conclusion, or did you thoughts turn to getting food? Yep, food it was. Now think about another time you were contemplating a decision, but you were either eating during this or just finished eating. How much quicker and easier did you get to a decision? I can guarantee it was easier. This is the basis of how our minds work. We look at survival before anything else.

You can take charge of your financial situation after divorce. All of us have to face our cold, hard monetary facts head-on. We have to know where we stand, we have to know how much is going out and how much is coming in.

Your Best Financial Path Forward After Divorce

No matter how much or how little money you have, your first step is to figure out precisely where you stand. Finding out exactly how much you will have coming in and how much going out each month will greatly help you in determining where you stand and what your next move should be.

Moping around about something that can’t be changed won’t help. Being constantly mad about our finances will not help them get better. Don’t dwell on the things you cannot change or control. Instead, start a plan to improve your financial life TODAY!

One thing that has helped men is connecting with someone who has been on the divorce road as well, and divorce and recovery from it is something I went through a few years ago.

My 3 month 1 on 1 coaching session package is designed to 1) determine exactly where you are at in your post-divorce path, 2) what your goals are in your new journey, and 3) design an actionable plan to initiate and accomplish those goals. The plan is called Building Your New Financial Foundation.

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