How do you spell relief? D-I-V-O-R-C-E! 

This was my dad’s motto after he and my mom split up. I actually think he had it written on a T-shirt.  Sound cold? Yup. But his motto led me to enhance my career and add CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) to my name. 

Seeing my parent’s emotions and finances taken to their limits by divorce, I knew there were couples, like my parents, who needed my planning practice to help navigate this difficult transitional period in a less messy, more dignified way.

Today we are going to talk about the three questions you need to ask that will help expedite your divorce and give you a good financial picture of where you are and where you want to be.

Where am I right now? 

Start with a full financial inventory.  The first step in all financial planning is to know where you are right now.  What assets do you and your spouse have? Home, employer retirement savings, personal savings, etc.  What liabilities are there and whose name are they in? Car loans, credit card debt,  mortgage payments, etc.  

This inventory will help you begin to wrap your mind around the value shared in your marriage and will be a solid starting point for you and your attorney to begin your work together.

Where do I want to be? 

There are two considerations here – the basic cost of living versus the lifestyle you are accustomed to. How much will it cost to be me? 

What would rent and utilities cost? Education for the kids? Daily commuter expenses? 

Will I need health coverage or can I get coverage through my employer?

Take a good inventory of all the expenses you would incur to live the lifestyle you are accustomed to. 

How will I get there?

Where will my money come from? What sources of income do I have? Am I eligible to work? What type of work? Full-time or part-time work?  Am I eligible for social security?  Does my spouse already take a pension?

Your ability to earn an income will be considered in the divorce. Be realistic – you might need to go back to school to advance your skillset, so your ability to earn might be delayed by a year or two. Budget that into your projections.

Where am I now? Where do I want to be?  How will I get there?  These are the three questions that will help guide you through your process of divorce. Knowing your full financial picture will help guide you to your next steps as you proceed to transition to your new life.

Talk to your attorney about working with me, Donna Kendrick, a CDFA® Professional, to help you organize your financial affidavit. I work alongside you to help you piece together a clear picture of where you are and where you need to be.  

Divorce can be stressful and overwhelming. RELIEF can come with a helping hand during the process, not just at the outcome.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Widow & Wisdom (wealth edition), where your mindset and money matter most.