Budget adjustment after divorce can be painful. Divorce is number two on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale with good reason and usually results in the couple readjusting their budget after a divorce. 

Anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you that it’s a complicated and difficult process on so many levels. In addition to the emotional toll of separating from a spouse, the transition to life as a newly-single person and the impact of divorce on children and extended family members, there are real, long-term financial considerations. There is a reason that divorce ranks number two on the famed Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.

Budget adjustment after divorce can be one of the most grueling tasks of all, whether the divorcing spouses have children to provide for or not. Budget adjustment can be especially challenging for partners who may have taken a backseat when it came to managing the finances during the marriage. The now single person will have to quickly acquire new financial skills to gain control of assets and monthly expenses, make investments and plan for retirement.

Fortunately, there are some basic strategies that can put even the most overwhelmed on the path toward financial health. Budget adjustment after divorce is painful but not impossible.

The first, and perhaps most critical step is to establish a monthly budget that allows for the payment of bills as well as a little future planning. It can be a huge shift to learn to live on only one income and it’s essential for you to understand where your money is going as soon as possible. Once done, you will have a clearer picture of where changes could and should be made – whether paying down debt or channeling more resources into savings.

How does your retirement future look? If you can’t answer that question, now is the time to act. Budget adjustment after divorce should always include the evaluation of IRAs, 401ks and investment funds. If you don’t have any of these, it’s time to get serious. A financial planner can help.

Divorce filings involve many small, often arduous details, but some of the tiniest particulars are the most important of all. Stressed spouses often neglect to check their  life insurance and retirement accounts and change listed beneficiaries after divorce. For the protection of children and your individual estate, these modifications should not be overlooked.

While taking ownership of your financial prospects may not dull the pain of ending your marriage, it can create a tremendous sense of empowerment. Budget adjustment after divorce is a challenge you will thank yourself for facing. After a painful event, you can still enjoy a healthy, thriving future.