How can I take control of my finances following my divorce?

Ask An Expert

 How can I take control of my finances following my divorce?

Joann North

Answered By

Cindy Locker

 

Co-Ower at Next Chapter Finances

cindy@nextchapterfinances.com

 

Question:

How can I take control of my finances following my divorce?

Answer:

Taking control of your finances after a divorce can feel overwhelming, but it’s an essential step toward establishing your financial independence and stability. Here are some steps to help you take control:

 

9

Assess Your Financial Situation:

Gather all financial documents, determine your assets and liabilities, and calculate your monthly income and expenses. During this emotionally challenging time, it’s important to seek compassionate support as you take the first step of gaining control over your finances.

9

Create a Realistic Plan for Your Money:

Identify necessary fixed expenses and variable expenses. Determine what’s important to you. Is your spending inline with your goals?

9

Update Your Financial Accounts:

Open new bank accounts in your name only. Remove your ex-spouse from joint accounts or close them if needed.

9

Establish Credit in Your Name:

If you don’t already have credit in your name, open a credit card or apply for a small loan to start building credit.

9

Consider Professional Help:

Consult with a financial coach to help you create a financial plan and set goals for your future. Work with our network of professional experts to help ensure your goals are met.

9

Plan for the Future:

Start or update your emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Contribute regularly to your retirement accounts. Update your will, power of attorney, and any other legal documents and update beneficiaries on all of your accounts.

9

Focus on Your Financial Goals:

Set short-term and long-term financial goals. Stay focused on your goals and track your progress regularly with your financial coach.

9

Take Care of Yourself:

Divorce can be emotionally taxing, so make sure to take care of yourself. Consider seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. 

Taking control of your finances may feel challenging at first, but with time and effort, you’ll gain confidence and financial independence. Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.

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7 Empowering Divorce Tips for Women from a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

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7 Empowering Divorce Tips for Women from a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

Divorce isn’t just about the end of a chapter—it’s a chance for a powerful new beginning. Hey there, I’m Rhonda Noordyk, the CEO of the Women’s Financial Wellness Center and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, and I’m here to revolutionize the way you approach your finances during divorce.

With over two decades of experience in finance, I’ve seen it all—and I’ve watched women navigate divorce in two distinct ways:

👉 In one camp, there are those who let divorce strip them of power, settling for less because they don’t realize they can demand more. They watch helplessly as their lifestyle dwindles, unaware of their right to advocate for themselves.

👉 But then, there’s the second camp—the women who turn their divorce into a catalyst for change. They seize control of their destiny, refusing to let their past define their future. They’re the architects of their own lives, building something beautiful from the ashes.

So, I’m curious—which camp are you in? 🤔

If you’re nodding along with that second group, you’re in the right place, girlfriend! In this post, I’m dishing out my top 7 divorce tips for women, empowering you to navigate this journey with confidence and grace.

Ready to take charge? Let’s dive in!

♟️ Divorce Tips for Women #1: Jot Down Those Expenses

Let’s kick things off with a little budgeting 101. Grab your pen and paper (or your favorite budgeting app) and start jotting down every single expense you have—from your morning latte to your monthly mortgage payment.

Why is this step crucial? Well, without a clear picture of where your money is going, you’re essentially flying blind. Plus, knowing your expenses inside and out gives you the power to make informed financial decisions during the divorce process. Neglecting to track your expenses could lead to overspending, financial uncertainty, and even disputes over money down the line.

♟️ Women’s Divorce Tip #2: Get Your Financials Together

Next up, it’s time to play detective with your finances. Gather all your financial documents—think bank statements, tax returns, investment accounts, you name it. Why is this important? Because knowledge is power, my dear. 💪

Having a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation not only empowers you during negotiations but also protects you from any unpleasant surprises. Skipping this step could leave you vulnerable to:

👉 Hidden assets
👉 Unequal division of property
👉 An overall unfair divorce settlement

There’s no room for this shady nonsense in your next chapter. Not on my watch! But even though this step is crucial, many women are overwhelmed by it. They don’t know what to look for or how to ask for it. And that’s exactly why I guide my clients step-by-step through this process in my BRIDGE™ program!

♟️ Divorce Tips for Women #3: Get Curious, Girlfriend

When it comes to divorce, ignorance is not bliss—it’s a recipe for disaster. That’s where curiosity comes into play. Instead of burying your head in the sand, channel your inner detective and ask questions. Lots of them.

Whether it’s about your spouse’s income, assets, or debts—don’t be afraid to dig deep and demand transparency. What happens if you don’t ask questions? Failing to stay curious could mean overlooking critical financial details, falling victim to financial deception, and ultimately settling for less than you deserve. No, thank you!

♟️ Women’s Divorce Tip #4: Download Credit Karma

Say hello to Credit Karma, your newest BFF in divorce. This handy app is like your financial guardian angel—and it’s free! Here’s the scoop. The app sends you real-time notifications whenever something changes. So, if your credit score jumps up or takes an unexpected dip, Credit Karma’s got your back.

Why is this app a total game-changer? Let’s say your soon-to-be ex decides to get a little too creative with shared finances, like opening a credit card in your name without your knowledge. Yikes, right?

Well, with Credit Karma, you’ll catch wind of it before he can do too much damage. Armed with this intel, you can take swift action, like reaching out to the credit card company to shut it down and protect your financial turf.

Now, I’ve been singing Credit Karma’s praises for years, and let me tell you, it’s legit. Plus, it’s not just about fixing problems—it’s about building financial resilience. Because let’s face it, having good credit is like having a golden ticket to financial freedom. It opens doors, unlocks opportunities, and gives you the confidence to stand tall on your own two feet!

♟️ Divorce Tips for Women #5: Don’t Jump the Gun

Now, I get it—when your soon-to-be ex waves a seemingly sweet deal in front of you, promising instant relief from the divorce drama, it’s mighty tempting to grab it with both hands. After all, who wouldn’t want to dodge the messiness of conflict, right?

But here’s the real tea, lovely. Those seemingly generous offers might be a bit like fool’s gold—shiny on the surface, but lacking in true value. Sure, they might offer a quick fix, but at what cost? These agreements could be hiding a whole lot of fine print that spells trouble for your divorce settlement—not to mention your entire financial future.

So, before you sign on the dotted line, take a beat. Get yourself some solid advice from trusted professionals who know the ins and outs of divorce finances—like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. Remember, this is your future we’re talking about, and rushing into decisions now could leave you high and dry down the road.

♟️ Women’s Divorce Tip #6: Watch Out for the D.A.M. Method

When it comes to divorce, some spouses might try every trick in the book to keep assets out of your hands—assets that rightfully
belong to YOU, girlfriend. That’s where the D.A.M. method comes into play, and let me tell you, it’s not as lighthearted as it sounds.

👉 D: Dodging the Disclosure—basically, your ex might try to hide financial information, making it harder for you to claim what’s rightfully yours.

👉 A: Avoiding Asset Valuation—this sneaky tactic involves downplaying the value of assets to reduce what you’re entitled to.

👉 M: Misrepresenting Information—your ex might twist the truth or conveniently forget to mention certain assets altogether.

Falling prey to these tactics could leave you high and dry, my dear. This is precisely why I teach my BRIDGE™ clients about the D.A.M. method. Because without the right support, you could miss out on your fair share of assets, get tangled in messy legal battles, and face financial uncertainty after the divorce is said and done.

So, keep those peepers peeled—and don’t hesitate to bring in financial pros who know how to spot these red flags from a mile away. Your financial future is at stake—let’s make sure you come out on top!

♟️ Divorce Tips for Women #7: Build Your Dream Team

Last but certainly not least, assemble your dream team of professionals to guide you through the divorce process. Get a lawyer, therapist, forensic accountant, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®—whatever support you need to navigate this challenging journey.

Why does this matter? Because you deserve an A-team backing you up…

Every. 👏

Step. 👏

Of the way. 👏

Surrounding yourself with experts who’ve got your back not only gives you the wisdom you need but also ensures that you’re not getting the short end of the stick in negotiations.

Going solo? Well, that’s like going into battle without armor. It leaves you feeling exposed, overwhelmed, and at risk of being taken advantage of. So, let’s flip the script. With your dream team by your side, you’re not just surviving divorce—you’re thriving. Together, we’ll make sure your financial future is as fierce as you are.

Remember, you’re stronger than you think, and you deserve nothing less than financial security and peace of mind. So, take a deep breath, put on your financial superhero cape, and let’s conquer this journey together!
Ready to secure the divorce settlement you deserve?

Dive deeper into the strategies discussed in this post with my FREE mini-course, 6 Proven Steps to Advocate for a Fair Financial Divorce Settlement. Stop waiting and start paving the way to your empowered future today! 💪

Rhonda Noordyk, CDFA®

Rhonda Noordyk, CDFA®

Divorce Financial Strategist at The Women's Financial Wellness Center, LLC

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Why do I need to meet with a financial advisor just because I am getting divorced?

Ask An Expert

Why do I need to meet with a financial advisor just because I am getting (or just got) divorced?

Joann North

Answered By

Steve Hartel, MBA, AIF®

Wealth Advisor / Financial Planner at Maia Wealth

steve@maiawealth.com

Question:

Why do I need to meet with a financial advisor just because I am getting (or just got) divorced?

Answer:

Many people are under the misguided impression that the judge in their divorce case is a financial expert and that when he/she divvies up the assets, the result is fair. Your combined assets were worth $1 Million, and you each walked away with assets worth $500K, so it’s all good, right?

A good financial plan pieces together many different assets that each perform a specific function, or behave a certain way, or are taxed in a particular fashion, or carry a certain amount of risk. Some of the assets are designed to balance out some of the other assets. The advisor chose Asset A because it tends to go in the opposite direction of Asset B, and together, they provide a smoother ride. Asset C was used inside a particular account type because it provided tax benefits for the next 20 years. Asset D was a high-risk play, and Asset E provides a guaranteed rate of return with no risk. He has a larger life insurance policy that is the kind of policy that could be used for long-term care later in life, while her life insurance policy is smaller and doesn’t have that feature because she already has long-term care insurance.

When a judge draws a line through your financial plan so that your part and his part are worth whatever dollar figure the judge deems “fair,” you do not just end up with two smaller financial plans. Usually, you end up with two BROKEN financial plans!

Here’s my advice. If you are considering divorce, meet with a financial advisor now so that you understand every piece of the current plan, as well as what sort of proposed divisions would be less broken. If your divorce has already happened, that doesn’t mean you are forever stuck with a broken plan. It can be fixed, but it may take some time. The sooner you meet with an advisor, the sooner that advisor can craft a plan of action to get you back on track and repair any damage done by the judge.

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Should I just let my husband have everything he wants in our divorce?

Ask An Expert

Should I just let my husband have everything he wants (the retirement account, the house, etc.) in our divorce? It’s so overwhelming to think about fighting endlessly about these things.

Joann North

Answered By

Tracy Coenen, CPA, CFF

Forensic Accountant and Fraud Investigator at Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting

tracy@sequenceinc.com

Question

Should I just let my husband have everything he wants (the retirement account, the house, etc.) in our divorce? It’s so overwhelming to think about fighting endlessly about these things.

 

Answer

No, no, no. You are entitled to a share of the assets, and even though the fight may be difficult, your long-term financial future depends on you securing assets for yourself. Of course, you don’t want to spend more on legal fees than you would receive in a property settlement, so you have to be strategic. But I recommend making a plan for what a fair settlement is and being firm in your demands regarding this. Don’t settle too early or for too little.

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What does a CDFA do?

Ask An Expert

What does a CDFA do?

Jason Conger Financial Advisor

Answered By

Jennifer Merida

Financial Advisor at The Tranel Financial Group

jennifer@destinationtranel.com

 

Question

What does a CDFA do?

 

Answer

Working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ® (CDFA) is essential to avoid the most common financial mistakes made in a divorce. Divorce financial planning utilizes proven tools to help you work past emotions and frustrations to separate assets in a fair and equitable manner. It starts with uncovering your financial needs, challenges, and goals through our unique step-by-step process. Our mission is to bring clarity to the complex issues of your case. We guide and empower you with the knowledge and resources necessary to make smart decisions that set you up for a successful financial future during and long after your divorce is final.

A few things to list are:

  • Current budget and living expense analysis
  • Asset/ Debt Separation analysis
  • Future Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Income Planning
  • Budget Planning
  • Housing analysis
  • Retirement Planning
  • Credit Report Review
  • Divorce Decree Review
  • Building a Timeline for post-divorce necessary tasks
  • Money/ Account transfers
  • Beneficiary changes
  • New account and credit building
  • Title transfer guidance, etc.
  • Organization for post-divorce communication
  • Creative options for settlement
  • Organize the process and streamline financial communication and organize the financial information for attorneys if needed.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless