Self, Heartbreak

4 Money Management Tips You Need To Know If You're Getting Divorced

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How To Manage Your Money While Dealing With Divorce & Heartbreak From The Breakup

Dealing with divorce in its aftermath is not easy, especially because it involves figuring out how to save money, budget, and spend it.

My favorite thing in life is working with divorced women to reset and redesign their life after divorce, which naturally includes finances.

No worries! Not only am I psychotherapist but I am also a financial therapist with a degree in business, so I want to share with you my own financial divorce trauma as well as some money management tips so you can take back the control of your finances after filing for divorce.

RELATED: 13 Must-Know Tips For Coping With Your Divorce In A Healthy, Productive Way

Last June, I took my daughter on a short trip to Universal Studios for a red carpet event, this was our first trip to the theme park.

We are Harry Potter-obsessed so I was delighted to be invited to this event.

At the time, I was separated from my then husband and had been for over a year.

I had just started my own counseling practice a few months before but still owned a real estate company and partial ownership and was CEO of my husband’s practice.

While my practice was not bringing in a profit, I was still making an income from the other businesses.

While on the trip I noticed that my direct deposit transfer never happened but I did not think much of it.

During my event, my husband texted me to tell me that he drained all of the accounts and moved all of the money to a new account he opened and I would no longer have access to any of the businesses.

At this point, he probably transferred about $20,000 and turned off all of our joint credit cards.

This really put me in a bind, I tried not to let my daughter know, but it legit ruined my trip.

Fortunately, I had a credit card that was just in my name that I could use for our expenses on the trip.

In April I know the divorce was imminent and had been saving everything I could but during tax time, I found that my husband had not saved enough to pay our tax bill which I then had to contribute all of my savings (a.k.a. my divorce fund).

The IRS does not care about my money and his money — just that we filled jointly and now both owed this amount of money.

Fast forward to June and not only did I lose my entire savings but now I no longer had access to any of our joint money or access to any of my business proceeds.

Of course, when I returned home, I consulted with a lawyer (a very expensive lawyer).

I did not walk away with much hope after the meeting, and honestly, I couldn’t afford to retain his services either.

He ensured me that he would file a financial restraining order but at this point, I couldn’t even scrounge up the money to pay his retaining fee.

I won’t walk you through my entire divorce battle but needless to say, I didn’t walk away with near what I would have liked to and had to sign both of my businesses over.

I did walk away with an opportunity for a new start and a clear conscience and that was worth everything.

How did I do it? 

Here are 4 secrets for how to manage your money while dealing with divorce.

1. Pull your credit immediately

After you file for divorce, pull up your credit right after.

And if you are working on increasing your score, pull it at least every 3 months. If you have the ability to get a credit card see if there is one that has free credit reports.

With my card, I am able to see my score updated every month and make adjustments as needed to rebuild my credit.

RELATED: Do Not Get Divorced Until You've Done These 7 Things With Your Money

2. Start a spending plan

Knowledge is power and you absolutely need to know how much you are earning and how much you are spending. Figure out ways to save money and learn how to budget.

I personally don’t like zero budgeting because I need flexibility so find something that works for you.

3. Do not count on child support or alimony

Nearly 60 percent of child support accounts have arrears. Most people do not receive the full amount they are entitled to.

Do not depend on this money, it truly isn’t yours until it is sitting in your bank account.

And let’s be honest, the system is not set up to continue to track down your money, whether it’s child support, alimony, or your divorce settlement.

If you are receiving it, that's great! Count that money as a bonus but never count that money into your budget as if it is guaranteed. Saving money you already have is crucial.

4. Adjust your lifestyle

I see this all of the time. Women want to hold on the lifestyle they are used to or to prevent any changes from rocking the boat at the home front.

I get not wanting for anything to change for the kids or for you.

But it’s time to make an adjustment, there may be a reduction in vacations, hobbies, and convenience items but it’s better than crying at night because you are hemorrhaging money.

RELATED: 5 Hard Truths About Traditional Marriage, As Told By A Divorce Coach

Jessica Cline, LCSW is an online psychotherapist specializing in divorce recovery. Learn more about her on her website Cline Counseling.

This article was originally published at Jessica Cline's Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.