July is the month of Independence Day, July 4th, and I want you to realize that you can gain your independence after divorce, gain freedom over your personal finances and do it without fear!
“Oh, she doesn’t have to be there because I take care of all the finances,” he said.
- Did your husband/ex every say something like that?
- Were you ever scared or confused because you didn’t understand how to handle your bank accounts?
- Did you feel like he was controlling the situation?
- Did you ever feel afraid that you couldn’t do it by yourself?
I have thought about this and it wasn’t easy for me to go through the divorce process even when I was the one that had always handled the finances. It was confusing to figure out everything that needed to be done. I wasn’t sure what to do first, next, and onward. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like for someone, perhaps you, that didn’t have my background in finances and accounting experience; someone not understanding what to do in any of the many personal financial situations that we go through during our adult lifetime, much less going through the process of divorce and having to start over alone…..
Are you feeling alone and scared? If you’re anything like me, I was petrified. I had known my ex-husband since we were in junior high school. I had never been alone. When I finally realized that I was alone even though he was in the same room with me, I knew it was time for a change. You can do it because I can help you. Things to think about are:
Initial Steps to Take When Contemplating Divorce
You may feel at a disadvantage starting the divorce process because so often, many women who are contemplating a divorce do not have a clear picture of their marital finances. Since their husband has been handling all of the finances, the wife doesn’t have access to the marital financial accounts.
It is imperative that you gain an understanding of your financial situation prior to engaging in a divorce. Some of the things you will need to do:
- Prepare a Marital Balance Sheet –
This is basically a list of where the income comes from along with what costs are required to maintain your household.
- Obtain some independence from your spouse moving forward –
It is important to gain some financial autonomy.
- Establish your own separate checking account and/or credit card in your NAME
The above steps can be complicated when your spouse has generally been in control of the finances. You may have to do some investigating. Just take it one step at a time. I advise that you go through your financial documents and …..
- Put together a comprehensive list of assets and liabilities –
figure out what you own and what you owe
- It is very important to make photocopies of financial documents and store and secure them in a safe place —– a friend’s or family member’s home.
Once the divorce process is initiated your attorney is going to need all of the relevant financial documents.
Other things to consider are:
- Change your passwords – some people forget their partner could access their bank account through an additional card, online or through phone banking.
- Put all your financial documents together so that you get an idea about your living expenses.
- Start a budget to help you manage your expenses and to plan your future according to your current situation.
With my background in accounting and personal finance, I know that I can help. In addition to the above things to consider, just remember that you are not in this alone.
Just take it one step at a time.
Remember to just take it one step at a time. If you are not sure where to start, just give me a call and we can discuss it and figure out your NEXT STEPS together. Just know that you are not in this alone. A lot of women our age are going through the same thing.
Take care, talk soon,