Meet Isla Vogelpohl and Dan Vogelpohl, a certified Divorce Financial Analyst and one of the owners of Wealth Dimensions Group. As a CDFA and a client ambassador, Dan and Isla have the privilege of helping dozens of women walking through divorce and gain the peace of mind they deserve. If you’re going through a divorce, you’re already experiencing emotional stress. The last thing you need is additional financial stress.
So here are six things that we encourage all our clients to think about.
- Organize your finances. Try to document as much as you can about your finances, your household expenses, credit card statements, bank statements, retirement and investment account statements, life insurance policies, any loans, and income tax returns. That sounds like a lot, but take these things one day at a time, and check items off your list as you’re able to find them.
- Evaluate your joint accounts – savings accounts, investment accounts, etc. It’s not uncommon for spouses to become confrontational, so you might want to consider having these accounts frozen just for a period of time. And while we’re on joint accounts, if it does become confrontational, please work with your attorney. Open up an account in your own name, maybe move some of those assets in the joint account into your account, but document every penny that goes in and out.
- Establish credit in your own name. This will help you post-divorce if you’re looking to buy a house or a car.
- Meet with an advisor. It’s okay to have more questions than answers. A good advisor will listen to you first, meet you where you’re at, emotionally and financially, and help you put the picture of your finances together. You want to make sure you’re meeting with someone that knows the intricacies of divorces, taxes, and property settlements.
- Ask your advisor to work with your attorney directly. A really great advisor will collaborate with your attorney to help you coordinate all the distribution of assets post divorce. There are always new accounts that need set up, wire transfers that need initiation, and if you aren’t familiar with that world, it can feel really overwhelming.
A great advisor will help alleviate the confusion and pressure in the situation and let you focus on other things in your life, like your living situation, your children, your mental health. You want to feel empowered, and have clear visibility of all your financial options.
- Focus on your emotional wellness. Emotional wellness is multifaceted and tied to so many different financial woes. Don’t forget about the things that you used to do before this divorce came about. Maybe that’s waking up early and journaling before you go to work; maybe after work, it’s taking a long walk with a family pet; maybe it’s exercise, spin, or yoga. Whatever it is, just make sure that that doesn’t fall by the wayside and that you remember to take care of yourself.
Emotions run high when you’re going through a divorce, and with children and day-to-day life obligations to worry about, your finances may not be a top priority. However, equipping yourself with the knowledge about your specific financial situation can be empowering, allowing you to navigate the process from a place of understanding and start your next chapter.
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