For many, if not most divorcing couples, splitting up isn’t the hardest part of divorce, it’s dealing with the financial impact. While not all couples are affected the same, the majority of couples do experience significant changes in their financial status during and after the divorce process. Here are some examples of how divorce affects spouses:
- A stay-at-home parent has to return to the workforce.
- A stay-at-home parent has to return to work and in effect, start paying for full-time childcare so he or she can earn a living.
- A breadwinner has to pay child and spousal support.
- A spouse has to give half of their retirement to their soon-to-be-ex.
- A long-time homemaker has to go back to school to obtain skills resulting in student loan debt.
- A breadwinner has to support two households when he or she divorces a disabled spouse, or a spouse who is caring for the couple’s disabled child.
Do any of the above scenarios sound like your situation? Whether you’re to pay child or spousal support, or if you’re to receive either one, there is a strong possibility that you will have more financial pressure than you did before the divorce. We are not saying this to scare you; we just want you to be emotionally prepared for what lies ahead.
If you’re like most people, you are headed towards more financial responsibility than you had before, but that’s okay. You can learn how to deal with the issue head-on and actually use this “new normal” to your advantage. In order to do this, you’ll need to focus on one thing – increasing your income.
How Can I Increase My Income?
When you get a divorce, it stretches you to the limit. It tests you in every way imaginable. But you can use this test as an incentive to improve your circumstances and increase your income. Here are some tips on how to make that happen sooner than later:
- Go back to school and get a bachelor’s degree.
- Go to a trade school and learn a new school.
- Ask for a promotion at your job, or work harder to earn one.
- Start a “side gig” to earn extra money.
- Use the evenings and weekends to freelance. For example, if you’re a web designer by day, take extra design work as a freelancer. This can apply to bookkeeping, plumbing, landscaping, construction, writing, childcare, and so much more.
- Look for a higher-paying, more fulfilling job.
- Continue sharpening your skills so you become more valuable in your profession. Read industry trade books, take courses and attend workshops and conferences.
What can you do here and now to build a better future for you and your children (where applicable)? Surely, there are one or more things you can do to increase your income so you can an even better life after the divorce. It’s just a matter of starting.