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Budgeting after a divorce

New Mexico residents who dissolve their marriage can expect major changes in their lives, especially in regards to their finances. Many people who stayed at home and took care of their family instead of pursuing a career may expect that their ex-spouse will have to pay them alimony, but many states are looking to change the amount and duration of alimony. It's a good idea for those going through or expecting to file for a divorce to make post-divorce financial plans.

If someone is expecting to or is receiving alimony, they should not assume that it will always be available. Individuals may want to use these funds to go back to school or to prepare themselves to re-enter the workforce. Should something happen to their ex-spouse or if their ex-spouse does not keep up their obligation to pay alimony, people will need to be able to take care of themselves.

Those who go through a divorce should also create a realistic budget. People will often have less income, and they may need to downsize their home and their lifestyles, at least temporarily. Smaller homes often carry lower mortgage payments and require less maintenance, and many individuals no longer need as large a home once they divorce anyway. It is also important that people keep in mind that they will no longer have two incomes to handle bills. A new budget should take into account someone's expenses and how much money is available to cover them.

Making long-term financial choices can be difficult during a divorce, especially since emotions tend to run high during these times. A lawyer could help someone understand the impact of decisions they make as well as explaining how state law will affect their case.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Financially Readjust for Post-Divorce Life", Andrea Murad, August 02, 2013