Financial Tips for those Going Through a Divorce

Financial Tips for those Going Through a Divorce - picture of shredded dollar bill

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Yup, it happens.  As much as it sucks, married people occasionally decide that they hate each other.  Some people grow apart and others just want to move on to greener pastures.  Regardless, going through a divorce can be a stressful experience.  And if you’re not careful, your divorce could leave some serious financial consequences in its wake.  Here are some savvy tips for those who decide to call it quits:

1.  Separate your Joint Bank Accounts
If you don’t close your joint bank accounts, your spouse can access your account without your knowledge.  They can take all of your money, and you could end up flat-ass broke and selling plasma to pay your electric bill.  No one wants that.  So, make sure to set up an account in your name only.

2. Hire a Lawyer
If I ever got a divorce, I would hire some bitchy alpha female attorney that would totally go for Greg’s balls.  Regardless, anyone who is going through a divorce needs a lawyer to guide them through the process.  A divorce attorney will make sure you get your fair share of the assets and you should make sure to not use the same attorney as your spouse.

3. Create a Budget
Once you’re on your own, it’s important to learn how to live with your new, lower income.  Create a realistic budget based on your actual expenses, not wishful thinking.  If you need to learn to live on less, make sure to cut out the “extras” like cable televisions and restaurant meals until you can find a way to afford them again.

4. Sell your engagement ring
Did you know that you can sell your engagement ring?  I would totally do that shit.  It may seem drastic, but I think that it’s perfectly reasonable.  I hate jewelry anyway so I definitely wouldn’t want to hold on to a ring without any sentimental value.  By selling an engagement ring online, you can make some quick cash to help offset the divorce expenses, and you can spiritually and literally get rid of the memories that you are trying to shed.

5. Get your shit together
Your lawyer will help make a list of things that need to be taken care of.  For instance, do you still have health insurance?  And who is paying the mortgage until all of the details get worked out?  Make sure to go through all of the details of your life and make tentative plans for all of your responsibilities.  If you don’t, important matters could fall through the cracks and unnecessarily complicate your life.  Make sure to get all of your shit together in order to make your divorce as seamless as possible.

6.  Have a divorce party

Did you know that you can have a divorce party?  You can even hire a divorce party planner to set it all up.  And, why not?  A divorce party gives you and your friends a chance to get together and talk about how happy you are with your new life.  Having a divorce party may seem taboo, but it’s certainly better than staying home and wallowing in your own self-pity.

When you get married, you expect it to last a lifetime.  Unfortunately, shit happens.  If you are going through a divorce, it’s important to make sure that you’re protected financially.  Once that’s taken care of, you can begin building a new life with new goals and dreams.

Editor’s Note: I am NOT getting a divorce.  In fact, I am happier with my husband and marriage than I have ever been in my life.  I like to write about a lot of topics and many of them do not pertain to me at all.

So, how about you guys?  Do you think that divorcees should sell their engagement ring and have a divorce party?  Please share your thoughts by commenting below.



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  1. I would add to this making sure that you’re leaving your kids in a financially stable situation. I would also not focus on keeping the house. Coming away with cash and/or investments gives you much more flexibility than being tied to a house that may now have bad memories, may be too big, and may not be located where you would like to live.

  2. I would add buying a bag a lime, some hiking boots, a hokey bag, a Sham-Wow or ten, a pointed shovel, filing your car’s tank with gas, and driving deep into the woods. Do you have life insurance on every member of the family? Hope so!

  3. My friend went through a divorce recently and I kept telling him he needs a lawyer until he finally got one. You just can’t do it without one. He’s had trouble selling the rings, though, but I’ll forward that site on to him that you linked to.

    1. I see people sell them on craigslist all the time!

  4. You definitely need a lawyer! My mom luckily got a great lawyer who helped her ensure she got half of my dad’s assets during the divorce. She even ended up going back to court to get more child support later on. I have a coworker whose husbandshid the money through his business and got a hot shot attorney to defend himself and because of the lack of funds and a shitty lawyer, my coworker lost a lot in the divorce.

    I love both of my parents equally but I know my mom gave up a lot in her career to be a mom which is why I was so sympathetic for her as far as getting her fair share in the divorce. When a non-working or part-time working parent faces divorce, a good lawyer can make a huge difference in how much they get in the divorce settlement.

    1. That is a good point. When someone stays home with kids and puts their career on hold, they shouldn’t be left out on the street if a marriage doesn’t work out.

  5. I deal with a lot of divorces with my line of work. They get SO messy!

  6. Like Michelle, in my old job I dealt with divorces all the time. They just get so messy sometimes and people act like they normally might not. I think a good lawyer would be first on the list.

  7. In my old job I dealt with divorces all the time too. A tip I should probably not share: gals looking to “break their ex’s balls” should hire a male attorney ( and vice versa). Apparently it softens many judges’ hearts b/c you don’t look like a “bitchy alpha female” or a man that treats women like crap. That being said, divorce (unless in the case of serious abuse or infidelity) often messes up kids and adults BIG time. As the child of divorced parents, a studier of human nature and a financial person working with divorcees, 95% of people I’ve questioned about the subject have told me they wished they would’ve worked it out with their ex. Pretty staggering statistics.

    1. That is pretty sad. I just think it would be terrible to get a divorce if you have kids. My kids wouldn’t ever get over it.

  8. My sister didn’t throw a party, and I’m not sure if she sold her ring, but her divorce was insanely amicable, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t normal. =)

    1. That’s wonderful….I’m happy for her. That’s the way it should be!

  9. Great tips! My mom went through a divorce when I was just a kid and she struggled financially, so it’s nice to see some good tips and tricks.

  10. Never heard of a divorce party, that’s a new one for me. Another one I would add is changing you beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts. I’d hate to die and have my ex get all the cash.

  11. I know someone who’s gone through divorce 3 times. He felt the lawyer was expensive but that it was helpful to have someone sort things out for him (even after the 1st and 2nd times…).

  12. Good tips! I would add: While your married if you stay at home you should still keep up with networking, job skills, side income…something like that because I’ve seen too many women stay in bad relationships because of money, and they lost their job skills when they decided to stay at home. Also, and completely non-pf related, never, ever bad-mouth your ex in front of your kids. Also don’t bash them on FB..I’ve seen it happens and the only person that looks bad is the person posting. Just my thoughts!

    1. That is so true about Facebook. I see people bash their ex all the time! TMI ALERT!

  13. A couple of my friends had a divorce party and I agree it helped them bring some closure to the process. Another took a solo trip afterward, and it was really empowering for her.

    1. I don’t see anything wrong with it! A solo trip would be a great way to gain some closure.

  14. I am probably the worst source of advice on divorce because I am married nearly 45 years! Most divorces are acrimonious and what you describe seems almost reasonable. Selling the engagement ring makes sense because you do not want the memory, however it will sell at a lower value. It is a choice! Since 50% of marriages end in divorce, prenups should required.

    1. It depends on where gold prices are (if that’s the metal it’s made of.) Gold prices shot up drastically a few years ago, which means that even a depreciating asset like an engagement ring could bring you a profit if you bought it before the rest of the economy started to go bad.

    1. I agree that it sucks….especially if you have kids!

  15. It’s a sad subject but an important one to cover. I like your list. I might add in something about a communication plan with your ex-spouse. Like a call or email or text once a week (or via your attorneys) to check in on shared action items (like you noted, paying bills, picking up kids, etc.) Even though there are lots of emotions to deal with, a communication plan establishes regular contact to deal with the parts of your life that still intersect.

    1. Also, my wife looked over my shoulder when commenting, and now I’m in trouble. She asked, “What kind of divorce blogs are you reading!?”

  16. Divorces are definitely messy, even the more amicable ones. There is just so much to take care of that you really do need a lawyer to help you through it. And don’t cheap out for the sake of being cheap. Get the best one you can afford. I’ve seen people go cheap and end up paying a lot of money to their ex. In that situation, I’d rather pay my lawyer than my ex! And like you – happily married! 🙂

    1. Yes, I am very happily married. I’m afraid that Greg is stuck with me…..FOREVA!

  17. My aunt got divorced and it was quite the mess. I couldn’t imagine going through the process without a lawyer. My uncle wanted to hold onto the house, but neither one of them could afford it alone, so he is living in the basement while she lives in the house. So awkward! The only “plus” I could see with that living situation is that my cousins get to see their dad all the time; however, in the beginning of the divorce procedures, they used to talk to each other through the kids. They didn’t need to be involved like that at all.

  18. Luckily I don’t have to think about this because I’m also happily married, but these are good tips for anyone who isn’t as fortunate. I know divorces can get pretty messy, but I think it’d end up a bit cleaner if everyone followed your steps.

  19. My exhusband and I agreed on everything. We split the money we had, possessions were split, and we made a share parenting plan for our kids. Divorce has been extremely hard especially since I have two young kids, but it wasn’t messy. We are on good terms and try to make choices with our kids in mind. As for wedding and engagement rings I am saving them and giving them to my girls when they are old enough.

  20. For as much as I want to believe in true love, I think it is important to keep a bit of your finances separate. my sister is going through an amicable divorce but she had put a lot of joint money into house renovations and the guy kept the house so now she is renting and having a hard time. Separate finances help you keep a cushion just in case…

  21. Good list, those going through that unfortunate situation need to be very careful with finances. I would add a couple of things: #1 thinking of kids needs first and foremost, and #2 trying to collaborate with the spouse through the process. Or should I say soon-to-be ex spouse. Lawyering up is necessary, but if people really go after each other, often the only people getting rich are the lawyers themselves.

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