6 Must Do’s in a Recession….Reflections after 25 years providing financial divorce counseling in pre and post divorce.
1. Pursue a career and re-training as soon as you know you are getting a divorce. Forget that he said you should quit work when your first child was born and now he has changed his mind. Don’t wait for the fairy godmother to arrive. Procrastination will only cost you money. I know it’s harsh, but you just need to get over it! I recently worked with a woman that was separated for 3.5 years before her husband finally filed. Those 3.5 years were considered part of her maintenance in the post divorce settlement. She did not use any of this time to pursue a career, re-train, or see a career specialist.
2. See a career adviser at the beginning of your divorce. Have a career plan as part of your property settlement.
3. Expect imputed income to be assigned to you whether you decide to go back to work or not. To determine the amount, go to the statutes in your state. Do it now!
4. Review your income and spending for one year (historical budget), the temporary period, and finally create a post divorce budget. You cannot have too much detail. And be sure to have a category for each child.
5. Create a history of your marriage: when you met, family history, your employment and his employment, re-locations, your contributions, travel schedules, care-taking of the children. Use your personal social security earnings records to help quantify significant time periods in your marriage years.
6. Disparity of earnings: document, quantify, compare. Use each of your personal social security earnings records as a start.