Category Archives: finance and divorce

Guest Post: How to Deal with the Lack of Dual Incomes

If you are newly divorced, you’re probably adjusting to a lot of changes – new living arrangements, custody agreements, loss of friends and in-laws, a change in your tax withholdings, and maybe even a change of your last name. Perhaps one of the most difficult changes is the sudden loss of your partner’s income, but you can take steps to minimize the resulting financial strain.

Budgeting Is Imperative

For the majority of couples, both individuals contribute to the financial health of the marriage. After your divorce is finalized, your first priority is to sit down and figure out a budget for your new household. Every budget begins with an itemized list of your living expenses. Fixed expenses are those that remain constant from month to month, such as a car payment, rent and student loan payments. Optional expenses include dining out and other entertainment costs, and personal care such as massages and manicures. By carefully budgeting your money, you can see at a glance where you can save, thus helping to stretch your paycheck.

Penny Pinching: It’s Not Just for Tightwads Anymore

Thrift is a habit to be practiced and perfected so you have more choices as to how, when and what you purchase. You will also find yourself in excellent company: billionaire businessman Warren Buffet is known for his eccentric and creative ways of saving money. For example, when staying in a hotel, Buffet asked a friend who was coming to visit him to pick up a six-pack of soda on the way, so he could avoid room service charges. He also converted a dresser drawer into a bassinet for his first-born child and drove a Volkswagen until his wife made him upgrade to a Cadillac.

Under some circumstances, trading down to a less expensive apartment or car can reduce some of your fixed expenses. Another alternative is to use coupons to save money. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can save a significant amount of money, and lessen your financial worries.

Top 10 Second Jobs You Might Not Have Considered

When all else fails, a great way to replace a lost second income is to bring in a second income yourself, namely in the form of a second job. There are a number of jobs that can help you supplement your primary income, and some offer the added benefit of helping you meet new people to help replace those lost during your divorce. Here are 10 jobs that can help supplement your income:

  1. Medical Transcriptionist
  2. Groundskeeper or Landscaper
  3. Customer Service Operator
  4. Virtual Assistant or Receptionist
  5. Bartender
  6. Restaurant Hostess
  7. Mystery Shopper
  8. Receptionist at a Gym
  9. Dog-Walker
  10. In-Home Childcare Provider

Life after divorce isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be a tense time filled with worries about money. By tackling financial concerns head-on and finding the best solution for you and your family, you will be able to relax and enjoy your newfound freedom.

Author Bio: Felicia Baratz is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor to eatbreatheblog.com, she touches on green innovations and practices like green moving and transportation.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Divorce, Divorce Support, finance and divorce, New Career after Divorce, Post Divorce, self-esteem

Guest Post: Getting Your Professional Life Back After Your Divorce

Many women throw their heart and soul into making their marriage a success. They spend years of their life devoting everything they have to maintaining their home, raising their children and caring for their family in every way. They give up their own professional dreams and aspirations for the sake of their family and marriage. Unfortunately, many marriages today end in divorce, which leaves many women asking, “What now?”

Set New Goals

After a divorce, many women must re-enter the workforce to provide financially for themselves and sometimes for their children. Some women may have a college degree, but others may not. Even those who do have a college degree, however, may not have the same goals in mind for a career that they had years ago when they went to college. Life does have a way of changing your interests. Because of this, it is necessary to do some soul-searching and consider what you really want to do with the rest of your life.

Get the Ball Rolling

After you have decided what professional path you want to follow, you next need to decide how you will get from your current point in life to where you really want to be. In many cases, this may involve heading back to school and earning a new degree in the field of study that interests you. This can be an expensive prospect, but student loans are available to make going back to school more affordable. Use a student loan calculator to estimate how much you need to borrow for your courses. You can also consider applying for scholarships and grants to make college more affordable. Get started with this preliminary work right away to avoid delays enrolling in your classes.

Find a Part-Time Job

Many women who are entering the workforce after a significant time off have limited work experience. If you are considering entering a new field altogether, you may have no work experience at all that is relevant to your current career aspirations. Further, you may also have the need to earn income while going back to school. By searching for an entry-level, part-time job in the new field you are considering entering, you can earn much-needed money and get real-life work experience in your field. This experience will help you to qualify for a better job after graduation.

You may find yourself in a position you never thought you would be in. Divorce can be emotionally traumatic. However, as one door in your life closes, another one opens. You can use this opportunity to find professional success and even to pursue a new field that interests you.

Author Bio:  Amanda Green is a guest blogger who has written on matters of both a personal and professional nature. Hope you enjoy what she has to say

Leave a comment

Filed under Divorce, Divorce Support, finance and divorce, New Career after Divorce, positive thinking, Post Divorce, self-esteem

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – For or Against?

Prenuptials are becoming so commonplace that those with a paralegal certification can draw them up from a standard document preparation website, such as JustDocPrep. However, legislation has yet to catch up with marital trends and in many places, these agreements are mere formalities.

Recent reports in the media state that more couples are signing pre-nuptial agreements although ‘pre-nups’ are not yet legally binding in England and Wales.

There are arguments for and against pre-nuptial agreements. On the one hand it’s a way of safeguarding the assets that you had before you met your fiancée. On the other hand, why would you marry someone you had so little trust in? It almost smacks of expecting the marriage to fail. Then again, with the failure rate of marriage at approximately 45% perhaps it is just a wise precaution.

How do you feel if you’ve met the love of your life, you’ve had a wonderful romance, they’ve asked you to marry them and then they handed you a pre-nup to sign? It’s not very romantic is it? Would you feel that they didn’t trust you, maybe don’t really love you? Would it feel like they were just going into the marriage thinking that if it doesn’t work they can always divorce you? What about their commitment to you?

I’m a fairly practical individual and on the whole I don’t think I’d mind being asked to sign a pre-nup as long as I was given plenty of time before the wedding to have it checked by a lawyer, it was fair to both parties and had provisions for any children of the marriage.

How would you feel if you were asked to sign a pre-nuptial agreement? Would you be upset and indignant or would you accept that, in these days where people marry later in life and already have assets, it is only fair that you should be able to protect what you have worked hard for.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous – they are for anyone who has assets that they want to protect. What do you think – a good idea or a bad idea?

4 Comments

Filed under finance and divorce, Relationships

Guest Post – Pensions on Divorce

By Katie Surey, Field Seymour Parkes Solicitors, Katie.surey@fsp-law.com 

Pensions might be boring to some but they become distinctly less boring as retirement age approaches.  Pensions also tend to become a major focus of attention in divorce proceedings.  The desire for a decent income in retirement will be shared by both parties involved in a divorce.  This guide gives a brief overview of how lawyers and the courts approach the issue of pensions on divorce. 

 A common issue which arises within divorce proceedings is if and how a pension should be divided.  It will often be the case that one spouse will have a considerably larger pension provision than the other.  The job of the courts is to determine whether and how this imbalance can be dealt with in order to achieve fairness between the divorcing parties. 

The pension can be a difficult asset to deal with on divorce given the issues which arise on trying to place a value on it.  The figure used in order to make the necessary calculation is the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) which is the figure the pension provider could transfer to another pension fund.  However, the CETV does not always reflect the real value of the pension and sometimes understates the value of the benefits.  Therefore, it is often advisable for a report to be provided by an actuary so that the real value of the pension may be ascertained, along with the anticipated value on retirement.  It is the case that women on average live longer than men and this usually means that the same CETV will produce a lower pension for a woman than for a man of the same age.  

We would strongly advise that an actuarial report is produced where the pension is an armed forces pension, police pension or teacher’s pension, as well as other types of occupational or final salary pension.

Once the calculation has been established, consideration needs to be given as to how the pension will be dealt with.  Often a wife will want to retain the family home and the husband may agree to this on the basis that his pension is untouched.  This can work and produce a fair result.  However this is not always the best way forward as the wife may be left having to sell the family home when she reaches retirement age because she has insufficient pension provision of her own.  

On 1 December 2000 the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 came into force.  This allows the courts to divide a pension between husband and wife.  The Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows the Courts the same power in relation to civil partners.  Such a division is known asa “pension sharing order”.   A pension sharing order can only be made on a decree of divorce, dissolution or nullity.

The pension sharing order will provide for a specified percentage of the CETV to be transferred into a fund in the name of the wife (or husband if the pension provision is held by the wife).   

An alternative to a pension sharing order is an attachment order.  An attachment order will compel the pension trustees to administer the fund in a particular way, so that the wife (or husband) is provided with an income from the fund or with a lump sum when the fund matures.  This may be helpful in a situation where the monies that will be paid to the parties via a pension share may be substantially lower than if the party with the pension pays maintenance.  The disadvantage for the husband will be that the wife may apply to the court to vary the amount paid.  The disadvantage for the wife is that the attachment dies with the husband.  An important point to note is that it is not possible to attach and to share the same pension.

Leave a comment

Filed under Divorce, finance and divorce

Divorce Fairs

I’ve just read that the UK’s second Divorce Fair is to take place in Leicester in June.  More details here. 

 

The first Divorce Fair took place in Brighton (The Starting Over Show) and was a real success.  There was some criticism before the event, with people worried that the show would encourage people to get divorced but after the show the comments were generally good. 

 

The show was all about providing support and advice to people who were already going through a divorce.   The atmosphere was lovely and I believe that the professionals provided some much-needed support and encouragement to the people who attended.  The professionals included divorce coaches, divorce lawyers, independent financial advisors, and image consultants.  Relate and Wikkivorce were also there.

 

Anna Pasternak (Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, The Daily Mail) was there and Francine Kaye (The Divorce Doctor) ran a workshop.

 

I believe that Divorce Fairs are a positive thing – anything that can make a divorce less stressful must be good.  The cost for the Starting Over Show was £5 and I understand that the event in Leicester is to be free.

 

What do you think – are divorce fairs a good idea?

4 Comments

Filed under Divorce, finance and divorce

Common Divorce Worries

Divorce is stressful.  There is the stress of the unknown – Will you have to sell the house?  How will you cope alone?  How will you manage financially?  Will you be able to come to amicable arrangements about the children?  Your emotions are all over the place and you are having to deal with the practical stuff too. 

 

If it was your decision to leave you wonder if you’ve done the right thing?  If you’re the one who has been left you wonder what went wrong.  Remember the one who has left has had longer to prepare and will be further forward emotionally – If you are the one who made the decision then allow your ex time to catch up with you.  If the divorce has come as a shock to you then allow yourself time to come to terms with what’s happened.

 

One of the biggest worries about divorce is how you will cope financially.  Splitting up usually means less money for both parties.  So you need to learn how to live on a smaller budget, to ‘cut your cloth’ accordingly.  I know it sounds awful, especially if you’ve been used to not worrying about money.  But look on the bright side – it’s true what they say about money not making you happy. 

 

It’s amazing what can give you pleasure in life – but you have to learn to become more aware, more receptive to what is good about your life.  I bet, if you put your mind to it, you can find plenty of things to be grateful for.

 

Worrying about your financial situation won’t help.  You need to take control by finding out the facts and moving forward with the divorce.  Find a good solicitor, research what your rights are and make sure you get your ‘fair share’.  Don’t let your ex walk all over you because they are more knowledgeable than you are or you think that because they loved you once they will play fair.  Take action and make sure you are focussed and in control. 

 

Take the first step and buy my e-book ‘Managing Money through Divorce’ at http://tinyurl.com/ab5bwt

 

3 Comments

Filed under Divorce, finance and divorce

Divorce: Selling the marital home

As if going through a divorce isn’t traumatic enough, it often leads to being forced to ‘downsize’ which is challenging both emotionally and practically.

 

You will usually have chosen the marital home as a couple and often will have raised a family there.  Every room holds memories, both happy and sad.  There will be furniture, pictures, and ornaments that you have chosen/collected together.  Being forced to sell up and move out can be extremely distressing.

 

Once the decision has been made to sell the marital home it is in both your interests to get the best possible price.  Start by deciding what will happen to the contents once the house is sold.  Discuss between you what you would particularly like to keep – you will probably both need to compromise but it is best if you can come to an amicable agreement, as involving solicitors in arguments about who gets what can cost you £1000’s.  Think about what will be important in 5 years time and don’t waste your money or energy on who will get a wedding present or ornament that won’t be that important in your new life. 

 

When you have come to an agreement you can ‘declutter’ the house.  Property experts agree that houses with less clutter sell more quickly.  Get rid of stuff that neither of you want or have room for and store stuff that you want to keep but clutters the place. 

 

If necessary do some simple decorating – walls should be painted a plain cream or white so they look clean, the rooms look bigger and prospective buyers are not put off because they don’t like the colour or the pattern on the walls.  You will recoup the cost of a couple of tins of paint and your time in the price you get for the house.

 

A common worry about selling the marital home is how you will be able to afford to buy another home.  The find out what mortgage you are likely to be offered seek advice from an Independent Financial Advisor.  They will have expert and up to date knowledge of which lenders are most likely to lend to you, the best deals available and what type of mortgage would be best for you.

 

When you know how much you have available get to know a couple of local estate agents.  Tell them your circumstances and ask them to keep you informed whenever a house in your price range comes on the market.  Keep in touch with them regularly so they don’t forget you.  Be realistic about what you will get for your money in the area.  Never offer the asking price on a house however much you like it – there is often room for negotiation. 

 

Looking on the positive side of moving house after a divorce, it allows you to make a fresh start.  You can choose where you live, even if there are restrictions because of a job or schools you can move to a different district of town or even a nearby town or village within commuting distance.

 

Moving will give you the opportunity to get involved in a new community and meet new people.  Join local clubs, committees or churches.  Find a local group that does something you enjoy – a reading circle, a sports club, a gardening club, the WI, a slimming group or an exercise class.

 

Think of your divorce as a new chapter in your life – a chance to make new friends and try new things.  Don’t dwell on the past – look to your exciting new future.

 

If you would like practical advice and tips about the financial side of divorce, Annie has written an e-book Managing Money through Divorce’

 

2 Comments

Filed under finance and divorce, Post Divorce