Is retirement possible, post-divorce?

What should you do when divorce hits you by surprise?

Are women ever blind-sided by the prospect of divorce? Unfortunately, yes.

Certainly, no woman should ever get blind-sided by divorce. Aren’t there warning signs? And—topic of this article—if you get blind-sided, what should you do?

Two realities

“Hindsight” is a big word here. In retrospect, pretty much every divorcing woman I’ve ever worked with has admitted that she should’ve seen this coming. But I don’t blame them—or you, if you’re in this situation.

I had a client who, upon learning of her pending divorce, cried in my office: “I’ve been nothing but a good wife!” And she was right. But years (yes, years) later, she told me, “Now when I look back, I can see he wasn’t being a good husband.” She’d been rationalizing. She’d been in denial.

But the signs were there. If you suddenly discover that you can’t log into your joint bank account, that’s a major red flag—even if your spouse has a ready excuse when you inquire.

After being married, your instinct is to preserve the marriage. Maybe things can get patched up.

At the same time, perhaps they can’t. Which requires you to, unfortunately, plan for an alternate future on your own.

How can you possibly straddle those two competing realities?

Answer: You can’t. You can try. And you need to. But divorce can come at you like a tidal wave. Fortunately, this is where I can help.

Bailing out

If divorce is a tidal wave, you need to face it, one bucket at a time. As a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional, I’m equipped to help you with the financial side of all of this. (I’m also divorced, so I have that perspective, too.)

So while you’re facing that brutal attack on your emotions and energy, you’ll still need to work to protect yourself, with my help.

Here’s what you’ll need, ASAP: Access to information. You want to get your hands on bank and credit-card account statements, tax returns, home-purchase documents, all of that. That’s because I’ll be helping you with four big buckets of things: 1) assets (what you own), 2) debts (what you owe), 3) income (what you earn), and 4) expenses (what you pay). These are the pillars of crafting the equitable settlement that I’ll work on with your attorney, starting with what’s called the AFI: the official Affidavit of Financial Information that you’ll need to fill out.

If your name is on any of the above statements or deeds, they’re yours and getting them should be straightforward. If your name isn’t on them, don’t worry: Your attorney can get them for us through what’s called the “discovery process.”

It’s only natural to feel blind-sided when you’ve been holding up your end of the marriage. But if that union is truly fated to dissolve, then you need help with the financial side of divorce—and your financial life beyond divorce.

I can help you with both. Contact me and let’s get you on the path toward a brighter future.