This is an excerpt from “A Woman’s Financial Guide to Divorce” that comes as a supplement to our book Cinder Without Her Fella. Written by Carin Thomas
For over 15 years, I’ve watched smart and savvy women struggle to rebuild their lives during and after divorce because they lack confidence about money.
I’ve seen the same women overcome your fears, grow strong, and change their lives.
Why the struggle with money?
Because too many women think managing money is complicated.
Nonsense! If you can manage the enormous logistics of work, home, kids, families, spouses, friends, entertainment, book club, travel, and even a second home, you can certainly learn to manage your money. You can do this!
The key to successful money management is knowledge. And the key to acquiring knowledge is facing your fears and digging in.
Yes, divorce is difficult. But remember: you don’t have to do this alone. You simply have to begin. Exactly where you are…
So here are the Top 10 Money Mistakes Women Make when getting divorced:
- Spend too much.
- Let your husband do your budget.
- Not figure things out yourself.
- Remodel the house.
- Do nothing.
- Stay in denial.
- Forget to put retirement savings in your budget.
- Not understand healthcare insurance if you’re not employed.
- Accept what you’re given when you don’t understand what you own.
- Not ask for help.
Here’s a place to start when you are figuring out what kinds of things you need to be doing as you move through the divorce process. Everything on this list doesn’t need to be accomplished at once.
Simply begin and keep going until you are finished.
- Open your own checking account, preferably at a different bank.
- Save cash- ideally three months of expenses.
- Notify your broker, banker, or insurance agent and let them know they can’t make changes to your account without your knowledge.
- Talk to an attorney, if just for an hour. Understand the divorce process- even if you ultimately decide to do nothing. They can charge a fee but it will be worth it.
- Talk to a financial advisor, insurance agent, and an accountant. Ask about their fees before you meet with them. Have your questions ready.
- Open a credit card in your name only or have your spouse’s name removed.
- Cancel all joint credit cards with zero balance or freeze spending on existing credit cards.
- Order a credit report on yourself so you can see your credit history.
- Change your online password. Use passwords you never used before.
- Create your own budget and make sure to do it yourself.
- Gather Social Security numbers of your kids and spouse. Keep them in a safe place.
- Request to receive duplicate statements of any accounts, including children’s accounts.
- Take pictures or make a video of valuable belongings.
- Have an alternative mailing address.
- Surround yourself with people who love and believe in you.