Our hearts can hijack our common sense when it comes to personal finances. If you’re currently in the midst of a separation or divorce, you’re at an increased risk for making emotional money mistakes. Even splitting from a long term partner is extremely stressful, especially when you’re living together and financially entangled. I’ll talk about four divorce money mistakes and give you practical tips to diffuse the emotions that threaten the health of your finances.
Expensive Divorce Mistake #1
The first divorce mistake you want to avoid is using money as a weapon. No one wins in this situation, even if you’re the one wielding it. If a woman’s husband cheats on her, she may feel compelled to punish him by excessive spending of their joint finances. If you’re tempted to do this, you must remember that half of that money you’re blowing is yours. Revenge clouds your judgment and poisons your emotions.
Expensive Divorce Mistake #2
The second mistake to avoid is “giving away the store” to get it over with. I made this blunder when I broke off my engagement to my ex-fiance of seven years. I was so tired of the fighting and drama that I left almost all of my furniture and household items behind. It’s important to stand up for yourselfand be assertive to get your fair share of both the money and personal belongs. I’ve seen women who consent to divorce decrees that are not in their best interest financially just so they can hurry up and move on with their lives. However, child support and custody agreements can be difficult and challenging to revise later, so it’s important to stick to your guns and get what you deserve the first time around.
Expensive Divorce Mistake #3
This leads to the third mistake that can cost you: using the same divorce lawyer as your soon-to-be ex-spouse.Usually it’s framed as a way to save money on attorney fees. Be especially wary if your husband is personal friends with the person he is proposing to represent you both. You need your own attorney, who is representing your best interests, during a divorce. Even if you decide to go the route of collaborative law, which keeps your divorce proceedings out of the public courtroom, you should still have your own attorney. Ask other women you trust for referrals and interview at least two lawyers before hiring one. A good attorney will ensure you are getting a fair deal and will save you more money than they cost you.
Expensive Divorce Mistake #4
The fourth and final mistake is not having a third party sounding board. In addition to having your own attorney, you should consult with a financial planner or coach to ensure that you’re not about make a big money mistake. This is especially true if your husband or former partner handled the majority of the financial decisions. This person will have a clear head and the knowledge to assist you making good financial choices during this emotional time. It’s also smart to find a good counselor or therapist to help you work through all of emotions of divorce in a productive and healthy way!
If you’re going through a major breakup or divorce and want to regain positive and peaceful relationship with your money, my 30-day Financial Dignity After Divorce program will help you do just that.
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