5 More Important Divorce Financial Tips

5 More Important Divorce Financial Tips

This is Part 2 of the article we published last week on 5 Crucial Divorce Financial Tips. 

Here are 5 more tips to help you prepare for a wonderful future.

1) Ensure Your Income Will Continue.  In many cases people try to keep the marital house for the sake of the children, but that might not be the best solution for their financial stability. Often the house is the biggest marital asset but it doesn't produce any income and doesn't necessarily add to your financial nest egg. 

Calculate your worth as a stay-at-home mom or dad. Just because you don't earn outside income, doesn't mean you don't bring added value to the household budget.

Make a list of every activity you do that saves the household money, e.g. grocery shop, cook, transport children, do laundry, clean the house, care for an elderly parent. On a column alongside these activities, calculate what it would cost to hire someone outside of the family to do each task, and then add up the dollar total. 

2) Dividing the Marital Properties.  Split assets and liabilities by amount and type. Generally, judges expect divorcing couples to figure out the division of marital possessions on their own. Be as specific as possible in the Marital Settlement Agreement regarding who gets what. Attach a list clearly identifying the item and the recipient in order to avoid confusion later. Going back to court to argue and amend any part of the divorce decree is an ordeal and is definitely costly.

3) Review Beneficiary Information.  After your divorce, remember to review the beneficiary information on your company 401(k) plan, individual retirement plans, annuities, life insurance policies and individual designated beneficiary accounts. Often we re-title assets but forget about changing beneficiary information on accounts that are not directly impacted by the divorce. If you are naming minor children as beneficiaries, assign a custodian of your choice – remember, minors are not legally allowed to own securities.

4) Hire good professionals. Regardless of your financial situation you should speak to legal and financial professionals to get the best guidance through the divorce process. Pick the lawyer who will act as your advocate and a financial adviser who will focus on your financial needs and goals. Don't use the same financial professional that your spouse uses for the sake of convenience! 

5.  Create a mock budget. You'll need to do some homework regarding your various living options, and then list anticipated monthly expenses. See how the numbers work out and what monthly alimony and child support you'll need. 

If you have to go back to work to make ends meet and had a prior career or job position, you can ask for rehabilitative alimony where additional money is paid to you in the early part of the settlement agreement for education and retraining purposes.

When constructing a monthly budget, don't forget to pro-rate monthly the expenses that might only come every 6 months or year, like insurance, tuition, and property taxes.


If something happens to your marriage, it's very important to have a realistic idea of what the basic household expenses have been and might be monthly and yearly.

This list seems like a lot to handle, so just take one step at a time. Realize you're worth it and that your financial future is at stake.

If you need help, please reach out to me at Divorce@KimberlySurber.com for a complimentary consultation.

Tags: Budget, Divorce Planning, Income, Property

Filed Under: Divorce Tips

This information is not intended to be a substitute for seeking legal advice from an attorney. For legal or tax advice please seek the services of a qualified attorney and/or qualified tax professional.

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Kimberly Surber

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Serving Riverside County, San Diego County


Kimberly Surber is a Certified Financial Planner®  and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®; however such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training and no inference to the contrary should be made. Information presented is for informational purposes only, does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities, and should not be considered investment advice.  Kimberly Surber has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any individual investor. There is a risk of loss from an investment in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular investor's financial situation or risk tolerance. Asset allocation and portfolio diversification cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investments involve risk, including loss of principal and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Information provided reflects Kimberly Surber's views as of certain time periods, such views are subject to change at any point without notice. For a copy of our Privacy Policy, see below.

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