Honey, We Need to Talk... About the Money

May 29, 2024

Divorce happens for a variety of reasons, but most marriages that end in divorce had something to do with the money. Did you talk about the money while you were married? Did you understand all of the assets and debts? Were you always on the same page with your husband about your family's finances?

In many cases, women facing divorce would say, "no." If this sounds familiar, I have a few ways to ensure that you won't make those same money mistakes moving forward. And the heart of it all is having money conversations with your partner.

As you go through the divorce process, it's important to remember to protect yourself, not just physically, but also protect your money and your identity. You want to ensure that your ex can't do anything that will come back to haunt you financially or otherwise.

When you are ready to start a new relationship post-divorce, try these techniques to start the money conversation and have trust and accountability be at the forefront of your new relationship.

Let's Talk Credit
Discussing your credit score isn't a happy topic for some people, but it is an important part of your financial future. Chances are that your credit will take a hit during your divorce, and you are going to work hard to re-establish and rebuild. You may have had to refinance your house to get it solely in your name or you may have to crawl your way out of debt from your divorce.

Keep your finances separate moving forward to avoid repeating your history. You have an opportunity to remove the taboo of finances and instead create a safe space to share past, present, and future financial plans without shame or judgement.

Even if you don't plan to comingle your funds with your new partner, the start to a trusting financial relationship starts with being open and honest about EVERYTHING...even your credit score. Pro Tip: Check your credit score every month and suggest your partner do the same.

My Money / Your Money
Credit is just an icebreaker to enter into regular financial discussions. Knowing your partner's debts and being transparent about your own is another step toward financial integrity. Avoid financial infidelity at all costs.

Financial Infidelity is exactly how it sounds... lies about the money. If you start out with lies of omission, you are fast-tracking your risk for financial infidelity, which then often leads to fraud in divorce. So, talk about what debts do you have and find out what debts does your partner have?

Now that you're both showing your debt and credit "cards,, let's talk about your money goals. Maybe you want to work together to pay down debt or maybe one person will be paying towards their debt and the other is holding them accountable (non-judgmentally, of course).

You'd like to plan a trip, but how will you afford it? There are many ways to pay down debt and talking about finances can be uncomfortable, even stressful, so making sure that you create a safe environment for you both to lay it all out on the table is a must.

Ongoing Success
Monitoring debt and financial goals monthly and even weekly can really be a game-changer. Share your money dreams and goals. Budget doesn't have to be a bad word or restrictive punishment.

Monthly meetings could be a little more in-depth to talk about any changes to your credit score, any upcoming large expenditures, an emergency fund plan, etc. Weekly chats about the money could be much more informal and be something you discuss over dinner, on the couch after work, or in the car on the way to a movie.

The ultimate financial relationship goal is a non-confrontational, no judgement here, type of conversation. One thing you could bring up during a weekly money chat could be something as small as, "Hey, I was running late on Wednesday and grabbed coffee on my way to work instead of making my usual at home." Or it could be that you know your partner had car trouble earlier in the week and you want to talk about plans to save up for a new car. You get where I'm going with this.

The bottom line is that you want to open the lines of communication when it comes to the finances moving on after divorce. Protecting yourself financially starts now whether that's before, during, or after the divorce. Understanding your current money situation, sharing your financial goals, and having transparency, goes both ways. These techniques will help you lay a strong foundation for the financial future you deserve.

Find your money.

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The Divorce Money Guide

This Is Your Key to Finding Hidden Money and Assets

This Guide walks you through everything you need to know to find out exactly what your family's money was spent on and to uncover hidden financial fraud in your marriage.

This is your chance to find the money.... before you agree to any settlement in your divorce.

 

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