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A divorce financial planner takes care of critical financial tasks that are beyond the scope of the divorce attorney’s expertise, and those tasks can range from preparing financial affidavits to projecting the financial and tax implications of each divorce settlement option.
It’s often a complex, meticulous process, and I work together with my clients, paying careful attention to every detail -“down to the last penny.”
However, all too often, I have seen clients throw this hard-earned financial acumen out the window once they have a signed divorce settlement in hand. For some reason, they seem to forget that a signed divorce agreement marks only the beginning of a new chapter, one that will require both a secure financial footing in the short-term and a disciplined approach to the long-term future.
If you’re in the throes of divorce, do yourself a favor and remember to Think Financially, Not Emotionally®. Stay tuned into your financial needs even after the divorce is finalized, and then, you’ll be able to avoid these common financial mistakes women make once they’re single, again:
1. Becoming Footloose and Budget-Free: As the old adage reminds us, “She who fails to plan, plans to fail.” A budget helps keep your finances grounded in reality and keeps your spending under control.
2. Seeking Revenge: Sure, in the heat of the moment, you may get some fleeting satisfaction from racking up huge balances on your ex’s credit card. But, resist the urge. At the end of the day, YOU will be entirely responsible for footing the bill –and may very well be in violation of your divorce settlement agreement, as well.
3. Giving Yourself A Millionaire Makeover: No one wants to deny you a little post-divorce pampering. I’m just asking that you only treat yourself to what you can afford. A short vacation may well be within your budget. But, are you sure you can afford something more elaborate, such as plastic surgery? Think twice about investing in expensive procedures that are motivated solely by vengeance or insecurity.
4. Succumbing To ‘Oops! I Forgot.’: Once your divorce is finalized, remember to remove your husband’s name from assets (titles, deeds, credit card accounts, etc.) that you now own. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to update wills, medical directives and all beneficiary designations on all your retirement accounts. If you don’t, your ex-husband could be eligible for a portion of those funds!
5. Jumping Into Something New With The Rebound Guy: Dating after divorce can be an important step towards creating a new future. However, many newly-divorced women jump in to relationships too fast, and then end up making poor financial decisions as a result. Do you really have enough money to pay for your new boyfriend’s plane ticket/new suit/golf club membership? Do you want to loan money to someone you just met? (No, you don’t!)
Divorce isn’t easy. But, once the process is finalized, you can turn the page to start a new future. Keep that future bright by protecting your assets and implementing a sound long-term financial plan. Your primary post-divorce objective should be to make your divorce settlement last as long as possible while achieving your various goals and desires. Many divorce financial planners, including us, help their clients post-divorce with budgeting, retirement planning, college savings, asset protection, insurance, estate planning and all other investments needs.
Jeffrey A. Landers, CDFA™ is a Divorce Financial Strategist™ and the founder of Bedrock Divorce Advisors, LLC (http://www.BedrockDivorce.com), a divorce financial strategy firm that exclusively works with women, who are going through, or might be going through, a financially complicated divorce. He also advises women business owners on what steps they can take now to “divorce-proof” their business in the event of a future divorce. He can be reached at Landers@BedrockDivorce.com.