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Managing your finances during a divorce

When you are going through a divorce, adjusting to your new financial reality can be one of the most difficult aspects of your split. Regardless of the circumstances and of each spouse's respective income and expenses, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain the same lifestyle while paying for two households, court fees, and other costs associated with a divorce. Often, parties to a divorce need help to make good financial decisions during and after the split.

Fortunately, there are people who are specially trained to do just that. Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CFDAs) are financial planners and accountants who have completed training with the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts, and who are available to help divorcing couples in Georgia and throughout the country.

If you can't afford to hire professional financial advisers, make all efforts to educate yourself. For example, many public libraries or non-profit organizations hold free seminars or have other low-cost resources. Many family law attorneys are also able to offer guidance on financial decisions, as well.

According to financial planner Nancy Liebman, it is important to maintain a neutral perspective when determining how to handle your assets, leaving the emotions out of those decisions. "We see people wanting to keep the house no matter what, but more often than not, it doesn't make financial sense," she said.

Above all, Liebman says, be aware of and proactive about your new financial reality. "The hardest thing is to have to support you on a fixed income in a situation where you might not have been the one handling the financial issues," she said. "You won't be able to afford what you had when you were married."

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Be the CEO of your divorce," Jen Weigel, August 23, 2011

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