Finalizing your divorce will be a great relief. No matter what your situation, divorce isn't going to be easy, as you'll need to make difficult and emotionally-fraught decisions during the process.
However, it's important to remember that even after you've inked the final divorce settlement, you'll still have more work that needs to be done — especially in terms of managing your post-divorce finances.
Advice for keeping your finances in check post-divorce
Be careful of with your credit. It's important to cancel all of your joint credit cards and apply for new ones in just your name. Also, be careful with your credit cards as post-divorce expenses can add up fast and quickly become unsupportable.
Disinherit your ex. Make sure your will, estate planning documents and beneficiary designations on retirement and insurance accounts are up-to-date. If something were to happen to you, you don't want to leave your estate to your ex.
Follow up on child support and spousal support. It's not uncommon for a paying spouse to be late when making child support or spousal support payments. Follow up on any late payments immediately and notify the court as early as possible of any late payments. The further your ex gets behind in payments, the less likely you are to ever get paid.
Create a budget that's realistic. Your expenses are going to be higher as a single person, so you'll want to redesign your budget in a way that supports you and your family given the amount of income, child support and spousal support you are receiving or paying. Stick to this budget to ensure you don't fall into a debt spiral.
Higher an independent financial adviser. If you and your spouse used a financial adviser together, you might want to consider getting a new one, especially if your spouse was the one who primarily dealt with this person. You want to be sure your new financial adviser is on your team — and your team only.
Are you prepared for post-divorce life?
Preparing for post-divorce life should begin during the pendency of your divorce proceedings. By firmly, but respectfully and diplomatically, advocating for your rights during the divorce process, you may be able to significantly improve your post-divorce finances.