In a traditional, litigated divorce, the focus is on, “How can I keep my money?” Each spouse is focused on getting as much from the divorce as they can. They have an “every man or woman for themselves” approach which often leads to a very contentious and expensive divorce.
A Collaborative Divorce is different. The couple works with a team and the team works together with both spouses during the divorce to help the couple try to decide how to divide their assets so they can each maintain a lifestyle as close to the one they lived while together.
This may seem difficult or impossible at first and may depend on accumulating savings for a while until that can happen. But you can learn how to do this during the Collaborative Divorce process.
Understanding Post-Divorce Finances: Budgeting
During the divorce process, it is often the case that one spouse has more knowledge about the couple’s finances. That person generally has a pretty good idea about how to budget and manage the spending and cash flow.
The spouse who has not been managing the finances needs to learn about budgeting. This helps identify what all the streams of income are and identify the actual expenses.
Budgeting creates a roadmap so you or your ex can make sure either one is not spending more cash than there is available and that can keep you out of debt.
Building and Maintaining Good Credit
If you are newly divorced and need help navigating your finances, one of the most important things is to build up good credit. The way you do this is:
- Consistently make your payments on time.
- Do not let the grace period expire. Many credit card companies, certain vendors, mortgages, and other financial institutions have a grace period. It may be 10 days, although it is commonly 15 days. This means your payment will be considered on time if you make it before the end of the grace period. Find out when that grace period is and do not pay after it expires.
- Keep in mind if you mess up and do not make your payments on time, you will ruin your credit and other lenders may not extend credit to you.
- Check your credit score. You may want to sign up with Equifax or Experian and keep track of your credit score. This can generally be done without having to make a formal inquiry. This is important because a formal inquiry can lower your score a little. Even though this is temporary, it can be significant when you do apply for credit.
Contact us at Heberger & Company, an Accountancy Corporation, to see how we can help you to manage your finances post-divorce. Our phone number is 559-227-9772.