Budget Blues

The truth of divorce is that it is a great destroyer of wealth. Very few people, caught in the vortex of a failed marriage, appreciate that their divorce will cast a long shadow on their lives a long time after the judge signs the divorce decree.

A couple in an intact marriage who managed a house and home quite easily very often find themselves struggling to manage two households as separate people. To some it comes as quite a shock to have to think twice about out-of-pocket expenses that once were incurred without a second thought. Or to tell a child reeling from the pain, suffering and dislocation of his parents divorce that he cannot go to camp this summer because the money is not there.

Custodial mothers in particular very often find their finances to be a pillar-to-post struggle where an unanticipated bill signals a crisis. Living paycheck to paycheck adds even more stress to the already stressfully existence of a solo mother.

To the point here, divorce very often means that the former spouses now each have to live on budgets – explicit plans that realistically show income and expenses. Very often this plans may require that the former spouses cooperate with each other, for example, paying spousal and child support promptly.

Divorcing couples face a myriad of decisions, particularly in the early days of separation and divorce, and the prospect of sitting down and making a budget, which many find unappealing under the best of conditions, is even less appealing in the wake of a marital collapse. However, a failure to face the fact that a divorce has changed financial circumstances, that a budget is now inescapable, and that the days of easy living are gone for a long time carries a stiff penalty. Separation and divorce are tough enough without the budget blues making them even more difficult.

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