Separation is an incredibly stressful time in a person’s life. Even the most Zen and disciplined of people can make regrettable decisions during this time. This is especially true when it comes to money and budgeting in the midst of a separation.
In North Carolina, married couples must wait for a full year and a day before they can file for divorce in their local Court. During this time, the couple must live in separate residences. If you think about it, this means that a still-married couple must find a way to make their combined income pay for two residences. In addition, a supporting spouse will generally be responsible for some level of spousal support and child support during this time. Therefore, it is of vital importance to avoid money mistakes during a separation period.
Don’t Make Decisions in Anger
Don’t let your emotions guide your financial decisions. This is generally sound advice, but takes on added weight in the haze of a tough separation. We often see spouses make unwise decisions to try to punish the other—such as selling off marital property for pennies on the dollar. These acts never end well as courts can take decisive actions to hold the spouse responsible.
Don’t Take on Bad Debts
If you are trying to stay on a budget, then do everything in your power to avoid bad debts. While you may feel like you deserve to have fun and let loose, this is not the time to lease a Tesla. Further, get your credit report so that you can understand your debts and create a roadmap to better credit.
Look at Your Monthly Statements
Shopping has a therapeutic effect for a lot of people. Sadly, some people go overboard in their therapeutic shopping and find themselves busting their budget. Actively and mindfully work to combat this by regularly monitoring your spending. Look at all of your bank and credit card statements to look for trends and unnecessary spending.