For many people, divorce is the single biggest financial transaction of their lives. Yes, even bigger than buying a house. While working through that enormous transaction, it’s common to realize that you “should have” done this or that to make the process easier. So before you begin your divorce, learn from these common mistakes:
Mistake #1 – Not saving enough cash. If you are the one asking for the divorce, chances are you know in advance you will do this. In a divorce, cash plays an important role because having “money in the bank” makes us feel more secure. Be sure to put away some money for an apartment, furniture, the attorney’s retainer, and more.
Mistake #2 – Overlooking assets. When going through a divorce, you’ll naturally discuss how to divide up the house and cars. But there are some assets easily forgotten and some worth far more than you expect.
- One example of this is frequent flyer points. While that sounds minor, if your husband travels, he may have more than a million frequent flyer points. That’s an asset.
- Vacation pay and sick days. They might be considered income earned during the marriage.
Mistake #3 – Not developing a career. Once kids enter the picture, the high cost of childcare forces many women to work part-time or not at all. While it made sense financially at the time, once your divorce, this work gap often makes it more difficult to find meaningful work. Sure, you can find a job. But it’s probably not something that gets you excited about getting out of bed every day.
Divorce is a time to reinvent yourself, and once you split, it’s almost certain you will have to work. If you’re thinking about divorce now, consider some ways you might make yourself marketable and begin making a plan for a long-term career, not just a job.
Learn more in about the “12 Pitfalls of Divorce” from our financial adviser during the Second Saturday Wake County divorce workshop each month.