Although this is true for both gendered spouses, in many cases, women are often the disadvantaged spouse when it comes to finances in a marriage. For many women, especially those who have been stay-at-home mothers or whose husbands have handled all of the finances during the marriage, the internal conflict they experience when deciding whether to divorce or remain married persists before, during and even after divorce proceedings are concluded. Leaving a known situation, the newly-divorced woman may feel that she is embarking on a journey alone. Concerns about child care, finances, housing and career opportunities must be confronted and addressed. If you are in this situation, you are aware of these issues. As isolating as the situation can be, however, it is important to remember that you are not alone and these initial concerns can be resolved.
Financial concerns tend to cause anxiety because the financial security that existed in the dual-earning household may not be as evident in a single-income household. In spite of the reduced income and elevated responsibilities, there are ways in which financial shortcomings can be limited. Establishing financial independence doesn’t have to be expensive and can be gained through developing financial literacy, budgeting techniques and utilizing area resources.
Depending on how household responsibilities were divided, you may have been held responsible for paying bills, filing tax returns and monitoring your retirement account. If these tasks were assigned to your former spouse, you may have a limited understanding of portfolios, money market accounts or W-2 forms. For those needing to develop their financial literacy, resources abound on the internet and area libraries frequently engage speakers to lecture on financial topics. These free lectures can help save money that can be used to shore up finances.
Trimming back expenses
Most people do not realize the size of their expenditures until they actually document their spending. Initially, it may be time-consuming to record every purchase made; however, such notation will reveal patterns in spending and highlight expenses that can be excised. Budgeting is an eye-opening activity but may alleviate your concerns about your post-divorce financial situation.
The state provides resources for single mothers living in Wisconsin. If you find that you are struggling to pay bills for healthcare, education, energy or food, there are programs designed to promote the health and welfare of those in your household. If you do not have the job skills required to secure full-time employment, you may find Wisconsin’s W-2 program a viable option. For those requiring emotional support, area churches and community centers host meetings for residents needing help from a professional therapist. These group meetings typically provide on-site childcare for the duration of the meetings.
When you decide to engage in divorce proceedings, you need to understand that your new status may provide opportunities and challenges. While this new experience may be overwhelming, it does not need to be solitary one. There are many options and resources for women who know where to look for help. Working with an experienced divorce lawyer is a way to understand every aspect of your financial life and will assist you in developing a post-divorce financial road map that will help ease some of your anxiety.