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Protect yourself financially post-divorce

Many Pennsylvania residents stay in unhealthy marriages to avoid the financial complications that could potentially follow their divorce. However, there are many ways to avoid these complications and ensure that you are financially stable once you and your spouse decide to call it quits.

According to the 2018 National Retirement Risk Index, the average newly-divorced person would likely need to increase their income by 30 percent to maintain the lifestyle they had during the marriage. This can prove to be a challenge for many people, particularly those who are re-entering the workforce after many years. Experts say that setting a personal budget and sticking to it post-divorce is essential. Your new budget should account for any child support or alimony you will be receiving, new expenses and any changes in income.

In addition to setting a budget, experts say that you will need to update your financial documents, including your 401(k), insurance and will. This will make sure that you and your loved ones are still protected after the divorce and that all your assets go to the right people when the time comes. For example, you may need to modify your health benefits, particularly if you were previously covered under your now ex-spouse's health insurance.

You must also review changes to your taxes and retirement assets. Keep in mind that any alimony you pay to or receive from your ex can affect your taxes. With the new tax laws in place, those paying alimony will have to pay taxes on what they pay, while those receiving alimony will no longer pay taxes on the alimony they receive. You will also have to split your retirement assets with your ex, which could require you to work longer that you had originally planned to.

It can be difficult to maintain financial stability as a newly single person, but with the right preparation, you can smoothly transition into your new life post-divorce.

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