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Divorce and taking control of finances

An individual who is planning to divorce is likely to experience a wide-range of feelings and emotions—some of which may, at times, be conflicting. While thoughts and feelings about certain divorce-related matters may change and evolve, concerns about one's financial status are likely to be constant.

There's no doubt that divorce can take a major toll on one's financial security and, if not prepared, an individual may end up making poor decisions that have significant financial implications. It's critical, therefore, to consult with an attorney who can answer questions, assess one's unique situation and negotiate a divorce settlement that ensures an individual is able to achieve his or her post-divorce goals.

For individuals who previously let an ex-spouse handle the finances, attempting to get a handle on and manage even basic money issues can seem overwhelming. The best way to gain control over one's financial future is to list achievable goals and formulate a plan to achieve those goals.

For example, individuals with credit card or other types of debt may prioritize paying down or off debts. For other recent divorcees building a savings, traveling the world or purchasing a vacation home near family members may be important. Whatever the case may be once financial goals are set; an individual can take steps towards achieving specific goals.

While it's important to have financial goals and work towards making positive changes in one's life, it's also wise to devise and stick with a monthly budget. At first, learning to live within one's new adjusted financial means can be difficult. Doing so, however, is not only necessarily, but also empowering.

Source: Time, "10 Steps to Financial Recovery After a Divorce," Joe O'Boyle, Oct. 14, 2015

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