Don't Get Divorced Until You Know These 4 Little Money Tricks

How to gain your financial freedom.

managing money while going through divorce Tima Miroshnichenko, Tara Winstead | Canva

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 lives after divorce, which naturally includes finances.

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


RELATED: The 5 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced (& 5 Unusually Specific Ones)

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 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 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 knew 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).


RELATED: Why My Divorce Was The Best Thing I Ever Did

The IRS does not care about my money and his money — just that we filed 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 assured 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 nearly 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 money management tips you need to know if you're getting divorced:

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 can get a credit card see if there is one that has free credit reports.

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


RELATED: 5 Key Assets To Protect At All Costs During Divorce

2. Start a spending plan

Knowledge is power and you 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 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 to the lifestyle they are used to or to prevent any changes from rocking the boat at the home front.



I do not want for anything to change for the kids or you.


But it’s time to adjust, 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: Should I Get A Divorce? How To Answer The Painful Question Once & For All

Jessica Cline, MSW/LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in divorce recovery and has been featured on Bravo, Insider, MSN, and Bustle.