The taunts, dares and admonishments over the years became intolerable. Over and over again, you were told that you were a failure, that you knew nothing and would not survive on your own if you left your marriage. But before you start your breakaway from this insufferable union, you need to have a plan in place; a strategy that will ensure that you can stand on your own. Especially financially.
Some people who leave troubled marriages face financial hardship because their spouse was the primary breadwinner. They have questions, worries along with doubts about whether they are making the right move. But as long as they do some careful planning, especially in money matters, they can survive and later thrive.
Take charge and invest in yourself
In a way, a marriage has parallels with a business partnership. When that partnership becomes unsteady or irretrievably broken, it is time for you to forge your personal and financial independence. Here are some crucial steps to take when divorce is inevitable:
- Seek professional allies: This list may include an attorney, financial planner and counselor/therapist. You must protect your assets, financial interests and personal well-being.
- Collect all financial documents: This list includes joint and personal bank accounts, tax documents from the entire length of your marriage, credit card statements, mortgage statements and information on all retirement and 401(k) accounts.
- Thoroughly check your credit report: Do you spot any suspicious activity? Did your spouse make dubious or outrageous purchases? Keep close watch. And if you can, close any joint credit cards.
- Open new financial accounts in your name: This represents another stepping-stone toward financial independence. It also is a good idea to open new accounts with a financial institution that differs from the one you shared with your spouse.
- Apply for your own credit card: You need to get your own credit card. For people who have no credit track record, apply for a secured credit card.
- Invest in yourself: Enroll in classes through community education, trade schools or colleges to expand on your hobbies, learn a new trade or obtain a degree.
You made the breakaway from a rocky marriage. Now it is time to become your own person and build a financial foundation. Yes, you may have some initial setbacks, but the future looks better.