According to the latest census one third of single-mother families in the United States live in poverty. Analysts go on to say that single mothers are four times more likely than their married counterparts to become impoverished. It might not be possible to completely prevent a downshift in lifestyle after divorce, but there are some steps women can take to minimize its financial impact.
Here are some important concepts to keep in mind:
Hire an attorney – even if you are on excellent terms with your spouse and can maintain good communication throughout the divorce process, it is essential that you have someone in your legal corner whose only job is to protect your interests. You might benefit emotionally and financially from reaching an agreement through the mediation or collaborative divorce procedures, but it is still advisable to have your attorney look over and approve any agreement before you sign.
Take friendly advice with a grain of salt – friends and family mean well, but no one else is in your shoes. Try not to act on the advice of other divorced friends or family members, but carefully consider advice and then do what is best for you.
Get a job – if you did not work during your marriage, it is likely you will have to now. In addition to securing your own income, working is a great way to create a natural network of support and begin making friends. If you worked part time, you might want to consider switching to full time so you increase your benefits as well as your income.
Get financial counseling – once you have divided your assets, sit with a financial advisor and take a look at your financial health. An advisor can show you how to adjust your income and expenditures to better suit your single lifestyle.
Don’t compare – statistics show that, while many divorced mothers suffer financially, divorced fathers tend to benefit. If your former husband has enjoyed a ‘bump’ in his finances, resist the temptation to adjust your lifestyle upwards, too.
Don’t settle for less – many women make the mistake of accepting inadequate child support or inequitable division of assets in order to appease their ex-spouse. Think about your future with your children and ask for what you need.
Divorce does not have to lead to financial devastation. An experienced divorce attorney can help you get on your feet and stay there. Call the Buffalo Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis at 716.886.9600 or contact us online.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 28 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is a Senior Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She primarily practices in the areas of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Alexandra is a practicing matrimonial and family law attorney as…