Posted on: 11 August 2018Share
Divorce has a way of messing up a lot of things. Your life completely goes out of control, and you feel like you will never get back to "normal." The truth is, after a divorce, you have to take back your life, one piece at a time. The best place to start is with your finances. People are in absolute financial ruins after a divorce, and it is really hard to get back on the right track. However, your finances are a big part of every other aspect of your life, and that is why you should focus on taking back control of your finances first.
A good place to start, when you are out of work and just starting over, is to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will eliminate a lot of the pre-divorce debt you and your former spouse acquired, and with which you are now responsible. Here is how a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you take back your life.
Before and after Absolving Your Debt
After you have your bankruptcy lawyer file the bankruptcy paperwork, you can start taking control of your finances again. Get a job right now -- any job is better than no job, especially if you have not worked outside the home in years. You may need help from a "return to work" program for people who have not held a job in some time. This will at least establish a baseline of income from which you can build a budget. If you did not get a house in the divorce, then you do not have to worry about your mortgage, but you will have to find an apartment. Find the cheapest apartment you think you will be able to afford on minimum wage.
Once you have been working for a month or two, you will probably have to attend your bankruptcy hearing. It just depends how booked up the courts are, but this is the soonest most people get into court for a bankruptcy case. Most of your debt should be erased, especially if you did not receive anything of value in the divorce and/or you do not receive spousal or child support. Then you can begin to make a regular monthly budget.
Making a Monthly Budget
Most adults have learned to create a monthly budget. Only those that never had to worry about money before have no experience with this task. Sit down with a binder, paper, and a pen every two weeks or once a month, depending on how frequently you are paid. Without all of that pre-divorce debt hanging around your neck, you can make a budget that covers the most basic human needs; shelter, food, warmth, water, transportation.
For a while, you will not be able to afford much else. Stick to your budget and put "extra" money away for emergencies. Be sure you pay your divorce lawyer a little bit each month, and that your bankruptcy lawyer is paid in full (he/she did you a major favor and should be paid). Eventually, you will find (about five years after the bankruptcy and divorce) that you have mostly recovered, financially speaking.