You can expect your life to change in many ways once you have completed your divorce. You may have relied on your spouse for income to help pay bills and child care costs. Now that you are single, you should consider making a budget that calculates how much money you will have to live on and the expenses you must meet.
Coming up with a post-divorce budget may help you prioritize some expenses and decide on lifestyle changes to reduce costs you might not be able to afford. Smart Asset explains the different expenses that may make up a post-divorce budget.
Once your marriage is over, you will have to support your livelihood by yourself. Even if you receive spousal support, it may not be enough to sustain the utility, tax and mortgage costs of your present home. You may decide to move into a less expensive home.
If you attend college or a school, you should factor in your tuition costs and schooling expenses. Other possible costs include your vehicle payments, auto insurance, and costs for food and clothing. Also think about the money you want to put away towards retirement.
Child care expenses
If you have children, factoring in your child’s care will be imperative, especially if you are the primary caregiver. Possible budget considerations will include expenses for transporting your children to school and relatives’ houses as well as entertainment, education, clothing and medical costs. You may even put aside more money to maintain your car if you use it frequently for your children’s needs.
Your medical expenses are bound to be a concern. You may have an existing condition and need money for medicine or treatments. But even if you are in good health, you should consider the money you need for health insurance. You might receive coverage from your employer, but if your coverage had come from your spouse during your marriage, you may need to apply for COBRA coverage.
Going through divorce will likely entail legal expenses. Be sure to budget the appropriate amount for your legal representation and court costs. Also think about the possibility of future litigation. Ideally, you would not have to worry about going back to court over child support or custody disputes, but it is better to prepare yourself for such events.