How to Build Credit During or After Divorce

It’s extremely important to build credit for yourself if you are going through a divorce. That way, after your divorce, you will be able to do things like buy a car or rent an apartment. Ideally, you should be building credit your entire life. But if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to start. To establish credit, the easiest way is to open a credit card. Then you’ll need to practice healthy spending habits as well as borrowing habits. Having your own credit is necessary for having financial independence after your divorce.

How to Build Credit During or After Divorce: Financial Health

When to Build Credit

Ideally, you should build credit throughout your entire life. Parents often start building credit with their teenagers by opening a credit card in their name in high school. This is a good way to teach financial responsibility. However, if you do not have credit in your own name, you’ll need to build credit soon. It’s best to go ahead and establish a credit card before your divorce is final. This way, once it is over, you’ll be able to rent a new apartment or house or make big purchases on your own.

How to Establish Credit

The easiest way to build credit is to open a credit card in your own name. You can do this at any bank or online. This will establish a credit history for you. It can be difficult to open a credit card if you do not have any credit history whatsoever. So you might need to start with having a cosigner or getting a secured credit card. This is a card that is backed by a financial deposit that you make upfront.

Healthy Spending Habits

It’s important to establish healthy spending habits in order to build credit. Learn how to budget for things in advance. It’s also important to learn self-control so that you can stick to your budget. Keep track of your spending by reviewing your statements frequently. This will ensure that you don’t become a victim of identity theft. And remember to put a portion of every paycheck into your savings account before spending any of it.

Healthy Borrowing Habits

It’s also important to establish healthy borrowing habits when trying to build credit. Never borrow the full amount that you are able to. In fact, it’s best to only borrow a very small amount and have a plan in advance for how you’ll pay it off. At the end of each month, pay off your credit card balance in full. It’s a common misconception that you should leave a small balance from month to month. The truth is that your credit score will be higher if you pay off the full amount monthly. After a divorce, you’ll need to have a healthy credit history that is all your own. That way, you’ll be able to start your new life, including renting a new place or affording your own vehicle. It’s important to build credit early so that you have a long-established credit history. Do this by opening a credit card, co-signing a card, or getting a secured card. Establish healthy spending habits so that you stay within your budget. And finally, establish healthy borrowing habits and pay off your credit card balance every month. Having a solid credit history will give you the financial independence you need to start your new post-divorce life right on the right foot.

How to Create a Budget After Divorce

Creating a budget after divorce is absolutely critical. Things have probably changed for you financially now that you’re separated. You may have to make some lifestyle changes in order to stick to a healthy budget. To set your budget, you first need to figure out exactly how much money is coming in. Next, calculate how much your essentials cost. Then calculate any discretionary spending and figure out how much of it you can cut out. And finally, track everything you pay for so you know whether or not you’ve stuck to your goal. Hopefully, by creating a budget, you’ll be able to adjust more easily to your new life and create a savings cushion.

How to Create a Budget After Divorce: Make a Plan and Stick to It

Figure Out Money Coming In

Creating a budget after divorce starts with calculating exactly how much money is coming in. This doesn’t mean your salary. This means your salary minus anything that gets taken out of it. For example, take into account taxes, social security, and 401k deductions. If you are receiving or paying out alimony or child support, include this. Your overall income might be very different now that you are calculating it without your spouse’s additional earnings. You need to know exactly how much money you have to work with at the end of the day.

Calculate Essentials

Next, when creating a budget after divorce, figure out your absolute essentials. You’ll want to know exactly how much money each month you need to survive. These include things like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, health insurance, and groceries. In addition, you may consider a car payment or internet access to work from home as essential needs. Don’t forget essentials for your children like daycare payments.

Calculate Discretionary Spending

Anything that isn’t essential is considered discretionary spending. This is where you can make lifestyle changes and possibly cut your spending if you’re trying to budget after divorce. Some of these things might feel a bit more essential than others. For example, maybe you could give up eating at restaurants several nights a week, but you really don’t think you could give up Netflix. Decide which things are necessary for you to really enjoy life and which things you might be able to reduce or cut out entirely. For example, perhaps you could subscribe to Netflix and Hulu and cut out your cable bill. Or find a car with a smaller monthly payment.

Track Your Spending

Finally, trying to stick to a budget after divorce means you have to track your spending. Otherwise, you won’t know whether or not you’ve actually stuck to your spending goals. Every time you spend money on anything, write it down. There are apps on your phone for this, like Mint, that will help you track your spending. They can give you some idea of how much you’re spending on things that really aren’t essential.

Creating a budget after divorce is important since your financial habits might need to change. It’s difficult to make the transition from two budgets to just one, but a budget will help. Figure out exactly how much money is coming in at the end of the day. Then figure out what your essentials are each month. Next, calculate how much you’d like to spend on discretionary things. And finally, track everything you spend money on so you know if you’re sticking to your goals. Budgeting is an important life skill and one that might serve you well in your new single life, and if you meet another partner down the road. Sticking to a budget might allow you to build up savings for things like home improvements, travel, and emergencies.

How-to Identify Financial Abuse in a Relationship

When you think of domestic violence and abuse, you probably think of physical and verbal abuse. However, there are many forms of abuse. Oftentimes, financial abuse is overlooked. According to a study by the Centers for Financial Security, 99% of domestic violence cases also involved financial abuse. In fact, it is often the first sign of dating violence and domestic abuse. Learn the signs of financial abuse in a relationship so that you can protect yourself.

How-to Identify Financial Abuse in a Relationship: Knowing the Signs

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse can vary from situation to situation. There is no one perfect example of it. However, it does involve controlling someone’s ability to get, use, and maintain financial resources. The victims may even be prevented from working so that they are unable to make or access money for themselves. In addition, the victims of financial abuse in a relationship may have their own money stolen or limited by their abuser. If the victim does have access to money, they may have to account for any of it that they use.

Look for Signs of Abuse

While every situation is different, there are certain things you can pay attention to. First, abusers may use or controls the money you have earned or saved. Examples of this include using your money or credit cards for their own benefit without asking. They may also ask to borrow money from you and never repay it. Also, they may ruin your credit by charging things to your account and not paying them off. Another sign of financial abuse in a relationship is if they have a double standard when it comes to spending. For example, they may spend money on entertainment, dining out, and clothing but criticize you when you make similar purchases

They may start to control where you can or can not work, and may even make you quit your job. In addition, they may actually try to sabotage your job. It is possible for them to go as far as hiding your car keys or removing your car battery so that you can not show up to work. These are only just a few of the signs of financial abuse, but there are many more.

Get Help

If you or someone you know is a victim of financial abuse in a relationship, get help right away. Call a counselor, advocate, or religious leader. Remember that financial abuse is not something that gets better with time. Oftentimes, it can actually end up leading to other types of abuse. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential assistance from trained professionals. Do not wait until it is too late to get help.

How-to Work with a Financial Advisor During Divorce

Divorce can be very difficult on your financial situation. If you relied on dual-incomes to make ends meet, or your partner was the only one who worked, this can be especially challenging. Divorce may force you to change your lifestyle and spending habits. If you find finances to be an unpleasant and overwhelming thing to think about, you are in luck. Financial advisors are professionals that specialize in helping people with their finances. Learn how to work with a financial advisor during divorce.

How-to Work with a Financial Advisor During Divorce: Manage Your Finances

Financial Goals

Financial planners and advisors can help you get on track and work towards the goals you want to achieve. Unfortunately, according to a study, only 5% of women work with a financial advisor during divorce. However, these professionals can be as asset as part of a divorce team. In fact, 61% of women who did not use a financial planner wish that they would have worked with one during their divorce.

If you have not already, it is good to sit down and figure out your financial goals. Thinking these through will help you be able to work towards reaching your goals. Some good financial goals include paying off your debt, having a comfortable retirement, and saving for an emergency fund. Others include being able to buy a new home, creating another income source, or building wealth through investments.

Benefits

One of the benefits of using a financial planner is that they can help you evaluate your lifestyle. They will help you take a hard look at your finances both before and after the divorce. This will be helpful for even looking at different things like covering expenses, buying insurance, creating a budget, and paying bills.

Another benefit of working with a financial advisor during divorce is that they can help you look at your assets. This will include hidden gems you may not have remembered, and which assets to fight for during your divorce. Consider things like jewelry, investments, college funds and retirement accounts. The financial advisor will be able to determine what is worth asking for and also set up a plan to help you achieve financial freedom.

Although this is an underutilized resource, working with a financial advisor during divorce is a smart move. They will help you to be able to start off on the right track during and after your divorce. You will be glad they were part of your divorce team.

How-to Find a Job After a Divorce: Hitting Your Stride

Getting a divorce could mean having to reenter the job market. It is common that spouses that were “stay-at-home” parents before the split, but may need to find a job after the split. During the separation period, you will have to take a good hard look at your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances, you may determine that without income, you will not be able to afford the same time of lifestyle you have been accustomed to. Therefore, it is important to know how to find a job after a divorce. With a little time, effort, and patience, it is possible to reenter the workforce.

How-to Find a Job After a Divorce: Reentering the Workforce

Pick a Path

First, to find a job after a divorce, you will have to determine which career path you want to pursue. Keep in mind that just because you went to school for something, or worked in that industry before, does not mean you have to return to that field. It is a good idea to do some research about different career options. Ask your friends about their careers, and if they enjoy them. You could get inspiration from them! Doing online searches is a good option as well.

This is a great opportunity to do some soul-searching and determine what you want to do with your life. Start by thinking about what you love doing and what you are passionate about. Even if you can not turn your exact passion into a career, try and evaluate what it is about that hobby and see if you can apply that into another career path. Perhaps you enjoy playing team sports. Do you enjoy the socialization part of it? Or perhaps the competitive or strategic part of it? These different aspects can translate into different types of careers you could consider.

Set Yourself Up For Success

When trying to find a job after a divorce, you will want to take the steps to set yourself up for success. You will want to make sure to create an updated resume and cover letter so that you are prepared to apply for jobs. Have a friend you trust, or a career coach, to read it and give you feedback. Don’t forget to let your friends know that you are on the job hunt. They may know of positions or have connections that may be able to help you out.

If you don’t already have one, create a profile on LinkedIn. This will help potential employers find you, and help you to connect with others in your desired field. Having an update LinkedIn profile is an important step in the job hunting process. Many employers will even have a spot on their job applications for you to share your LinkedIn account name.

Apply

Applying for jobs can be frustrating and draining. You may hear a lot of “no’s”, or even get ignored, before getting a “yes”. Do not get discouraged. If you are not getting any luck, consider getting a career coach, or speaking with a recruiter. These can be helpful resources when trying to find a job after a divorce.

Education

If you absolutely can not find a job that you like and can support you without going back to school, you can pursue further education. There are plenty of programs out there that are geared towards adult students. Most of these even provide schedules that work around work schedules. This could allow you to find an interim job to be able to make money, plus still be able to take classes. Keep in mind that just because you go back to school for something doesn’t mean you will automatically land your dream job in that field. It could still take time, effort and patience to get to where you want to be. You may have to work some entry-level jobs initially, but you can still get to the career that you want with a little work.

How-to Start Working Again After Divorce

When going through a divorce, you will need to start thinking about your financial situation. Perhaps you were a stay-at-home parent during your marriage and do not have a job now. This life change may now require you to start working again after your divorce. This may be an easy transition for you, but some may also find it to be challenging to reenter the workforce.

How-to Start Working Again After Divorce: Life Transition Preparation

Finances

First, you will need to take a hard look at your finances. Perhaps even after the divorce, you will be in a financial situation where you do not have to work. However, it may be the case where you determine that you will need to start working again after the divorce. Depending on your finances, you will be able to determine if you will need to get a full-time or a part-time job. You will also need to consider if your skillset will allow you to get a job that can cover your expenses.

Continuing Education

Perhaps you have determined that you do not have the skills for a job that gets the income level that you desire or need. In this case, before you start working again, you may need to go back to school. There are quick programs that you can do, such as becoming a dental assisting or a licensed real estate agent. There are even bootcamps for coding classes or digital marketing that will fast-track you to a new career.

For you, getting back into your career may even just be a matter of taking a few continuing education courses to brush up on your knowledge and skills. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, your field likely has new made advancements. Refreshing and updating your skills will make you a more competitive candidate.

Evaluate Your Interests

You will want to evaluate your interests before you start working again. You may have went to school for one thing, but no longer be passionate about that anymore. It is very common for people to find a new career path during their life. Think about what things you enjoy doing and think about how you can apply those things to a job. You will be more likely to enjoy your job if you are doing something that you love.

While it can be daunting to think about going back to work after being out of the workforce for a while, or needing to find a new career that better fits your current situation, it is very possible to do this. Just look at your finances, take courses if needed, and consider your interests. Following these steps will help make the transition much easier.

How-to Successfully Move Post-Divorce

Following your divorce, it may be tempting to move somewhere new to get a “fresh start.” However, it may not be all that easy to move post-divorce. As such, it’s good to know what steps you can take to improve your chances of success…

How-to Successfully Move Post-Divorce: Helpful Steps

Consider why you want to move

Before you get your move officially underway, it’s important to consider why exactly you want to move post-divorce. There’s a lot of reasons as to why someone may say they want to move. Some want to start over somewhere new away from where their divorce took place. Others believe that there will be better opportunities for them to start doing what they really love instead.

Still, ask yourself if you really need to move in order to do this. Remember, you can make a lot of those positive changes even if you don’t move. You may also need to make extra considerations about your kids if you’re a co-parent.  You’ll only want to move when you’re certain that it’ll be best for you.

Budget ahead of time

Should you decide to move post-divorce, then you’ll want to start working on a budget. Moving isn’t always cheap, especially if you’re going out-of-state. This can make things a bit complicated when coming off of a divorce. Therefore, it’s good to ensure your finances can handle a move.

Consider not just the expected costs, like down payments or rent, but also any additional living costs as well. This can include extra fees, or things like new furniture, utilities, etc. You’ll also want to factor in moving costs, like moving truck rentals, movers, and gas for longer trips.

Talk to the kids

If you’re a single parent, then one of the hardest things can be getting your kids ready for a move post-divorce. The divorce itself already may have caused a lot of change for them. Now, they may have to leave behind things like the school and friends that they were familiar with.

One way to help your kids deal with this, especially if they’re older, is by getting them involved. Ask them for their thoughts of where they’d like to move, or what they’d want out of a school or community. You should also encourage them to keep in touch with their old friends. This will help them feel like an active part of the move, instead of just an unwilling participant.

Divorce Logistics: What To Consider

There’s a lot more to a divorce than you may initially think. In particular, you’ll need to consider some divorce logistics that you have to sort out. These factors will be important for making sure you can give your divorce the attention it needs…

Divorce Logistics: Important Elements

Place to stay

One important part of divorce logistics is where you will be staying. Some couples will decide to keep living in the same home while handling the divorce. Usually, this is because they can keep the peace and stay out of each other’s way. This makes it a lot easier for both parties to focus on the divorce.

However, you may not be able to do this. Instead, it may be the case that you need to find some other place to live. While an apartment may be the most apparent solution, you can also reach out to family too. Staying with family can help you save a bit of extra money, which is quite helpful.

Time off work

Your job is also going to be a divorce logistics factor. There’s going to be a lot of times when you’ll need to take care of something which falls on a workday. As such, you’ll need to ensure you can make the time for them by being able to take time off of work.

Most people will make use of things like vacation or sick days to do this. Still, it’s good to try and talk to your boss or supervisor about what’s going on. Many times, they’ll understand what you’re going through and the time you need to take care of it. So long as you can get your work done, they’ll probably be willing to help you out when you need to take some time off.

Watching the kids

Having kids can really change how you approach your divorce. They also are another thing that you need to factor some divorce logistics around. With both work and the divorce, you and your ex probably won’t be able to always watch the kids when needed.

Therefore, you want to make sure someone will be able to watch the kids when needed. Friends and family are great for this. If they can, they’ll usually try and help you out by watching your kids. Of course, well-reviewed babysitters are also good should your friends and family not be available.

Pets in a Divorce: Who Gets Them?

Since pets are like children, how do you determine who gets the pets in divorce? This is something that pet owners struggle with during a divorce. This is especially true if both spouses are very fond of the pets. This can be a tricky decision since emotions will be involved.

Pets in Divorce: How to Decide

Housing

Divorce typically leads to one or both spouses buying a new house or moving. One way to help you decide who gets the pets in divorce is to consider your housing situation. For example, if one person will have a small apartment, they may not have as much room for a pet. On the other hand, if one spouse will be living in a larger house with a big yard and fence, that may be a better situation for a dog.

Some apartments or rental situations do not allow for certain types of animals to live there. Make sure that you check those rules before making the decision on who gets to take the animals.

Moving Abroad

If one spouse is moving abroad, this could have an impact on who gets the pets in divorce. There are many rules and regulations about bringing pets into other countries. A pet may have to go through a lengthy quarantine or vaccination process in order to move abroad.

Caretaker

Take a good long look at who has been the pet’s primary caretaker over the years. This may have been a shared effort. However, there may have been one spouse who always took the pet to the vet or bought pet food. In the same way, there may have been someone who did more of walking the dog or scooping the kitty litter. Perhaps there is someone who the pet seems to bond better with or has spent more time with the animal. If so, this could be a deciding factor of who gets the pets in divorce.

Pet’s Best Interest

While deciding who gets the pets in divorce, try and have an objective look at what would be best for your pet. Try and keep your feelings out of it. Which living situation would be more comfortable for your pet? Or which spouse would take better care of the pet?

Emotional Consequences

If you end up being the one who ends up getting the pets in divorce, don’t rub it in. Be mindful and respectful of the other spouse’s feelings. On the other hand, the spouse who does not get the pet may feel heartbroken at the loss. There will likely be a grief process. Talk to a therapist or a friend if needed. Keep yourself busy.

Another option is to eventually consider adopting another animal. However, it may be best to take some time to process your emotions first. Don’t just jump into something. A good interim step would be to volunteer at a pet shelter or foster a pet.

Education Post-Divorce

When your divorce is over, you might be wondering what to do next. It could be worth it to consider continuing your education post-divorce. While going back to school may seem like a hassle, there are some serious benefits you can get from it…

Education Post-Divorce: Benefits of Change

Learn new skills

One good reason to pursue education post-divorce is that it’ll teach you new skills. Usually, divorce tends to make a mess of your previous financial plans. This could leave you wanting to make some advancements in your career. One good way to do this is by heading back to school.

Furthering your education will help you learn new skills which can give you an advantage. For example, communication and strategic planning are just a couple of the highly-desired skills that can help improve your work ability. By showing your employer your new skills, you’ll be more likely to end up in a better-paying position.

Find something new

Still, what if you’re unhappy with the job you currently have? Or, what if you need to reenter the workplace after a long absence? Some education post-divorce can help with this as well. More education will make transitioning into new fields much easier than they would be otherwise.

By furthering your education, you’re getting yourself more familiar with the key skills your new field values. That way, it’ll help your resume stand out more compared to others. Plus, this can also be a great time to learn new skills which weren’t around when you first graduation, such as Microsoft Office.

Consider your schedule

If you want to further your education post-divorce, then make sure to find a schedule which works your you. School work, on top of adjusting to your divorce, can be a lot to take on at once. For some people, they end up overwhelming themselves and struggle immensely with the demands of school, work, and other personal matters.

One thing which is useful are online classes. Many schools will allow you to take courses online rather than in-person. That way, you can tackle the workload at your own pace. This can be especially helpful if your schedule is constantly changing, or if you live further away from campuses.