A lot of people wonder how they’re going to support themselves after divorce. In Utah it’s very common for one spouse to stay at home while the other one goes to work. This arrangement tends to work out well during the marriage—but not if that marriage ends in divorce. Fortunately, if you’re concerned about financially supporting yourself after divorce, you may have options.
Ask an Attorney before Filing
If you’re concerned about your ability to support yourself after separation, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney before you file for divorce and, ideally before you tell your spouse that you intend to file for divorce. Divorce for many people is a solution to a set of problems. However, it often brings a new set of problems while solving marital issues. Unless there are issues such as infidelity or abuse, it may be more advantageous to work on the marriage rather than getting a divorce. This is especially true if you cannot support yourself financially.
Start Paving the Road to Self-Sufficiency
It’s never too late to begin building a better life for yourself. You may have to work jobs that have inconvenient hours, and it may be work that you don’t want to do. However, if you’re going to get a divorce, you need to have some means of supporting yourself. Though you may be awarded alimony or child support, most people cannot live off of alimony and child support alone. You may also decide to start working on a certification or vocational training in order to expand your employment opportunities. For example, a CNA certification is an affordable certification in a field where there are lots of jobs available. Many CNA courses are self-paced and flexible. And there are many careers like this that offer those without college degrees a chance at a successful and stable career.
Consider Freelance Work
You may need to do freelance work in order to supplement your income that you receive from your job. Jobs such as content writers, photographers, graphic designers, drivers, and more are available. There are even websites dedicated to helping freelancers find work. If you’re concerned about your ability to support yourself on a single income, doing freelance work can help you earn the rest of the income you need in order to support yourself. Not everyone will be awarded alimony—even in cases where alimony is needed. If one party needs alimony, but the other party cannot afford alimony, it is less likely that alimony will be awarded. In cases where one party is awarded alimony, it’s not usually enough to live off of.
Research Benefits Available to You
Depending on your income and circumstances, you may qualify for benefits such as low income housing, food stamps, unemployment, and more. You can dial 211 in order to find out what benefits are available to you. Depending on your situation, you may also be able to find help from domestic violence centers. Some religious institutions also have assistance funds and programs to help those in need. Vocational training and programs teaching technical skills may have tuition assistance for those with lower incomes who are working toward a career path. There are a lot of benefits and programs to help those in need. Though most of these programs only offer temporary assistance, the assistance you receive should be enough to help you get on the path to self sufficiency.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Very few people—if any at all—get everything they’ve asked for in a divorce. If you are not currently able to support yourself, your priorities need to be in line with supporting yourself.
This might mean that you give up assets you’d like to have in order to receive a higher alimony payment or other financial benefit. You may also need to work out a custody arrangement that allows you to work a full time job without the need of child care services or minimal need for child care services. In order to do this, you may end up with less custody than you originally wanted. An attorney who’s familiar with your circumstances will be able to help you weigh the options and make decisions that work best for you.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget and sticking to it is one of the best ways to maintain self-sufficiency. There are different theories on how to budget. Many people subscribe to the 50/30/20 rule. According to this theory, a certain percentage of income is set aside for various needs. Financial Guru, Dave Ramsey, has an EveryDollar budget that tells you where each dollar goes. In the words of Dave Ramsey, “Every dollar has an assignment.” Find a method that works for you and stick to it. Make sure your budget includes your legal fees as well. In most cases each party is responsible for their own attorney’s fees.
When You Need an Attorney’s Opinion
If you’re considering filing for divorce and you need to explore your options, contact CoilLaw today to get the process started. At CoilLaw, our experienced legal team is dedicated to helping our clients fight for their rights and obtain the best possible outcome. If you’re ready to file for divorce, contact CoilLaw today.