How To Start Over After Divorce With No Money?

Charity Jerop
January 3, 2023
How To Start Over After Divorce With No Money?

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D ivorce can be pretty stressful, albeit super expensive. 

The ebb and flow of a divorce process can be a rollercoaster, and it can shake you to the core emotionally and financially.

A divorce can cost an average of $10.6K—according to Nolo— which can create a substantial financial dent in your accounts.

But don’t worry; you can start over after your divorce and get on excellent financial ground. 

Being financially stable after a divorce can take time, but it is achievable.

With that in mind, you’re in the right place if you’re looking for ways to help you rebuild your finances after a divorce with no money. 

How Does Divorce Affect Your Finances?

A divorce can create a massive dent in your finances. 

And it can be tricky if you depend on your spouse financially, are a stay-at-home parent with no job, or both.

It can take some time to get back on your feet financially after a divorce. 

According to Reuters, one study found that it can take up to five years to recover financially after divorce.

Below are ways in which divorce can create substantial financial implications:-

(1) Court And Attorney Costs

Litigation fees are one of the most significant divorce impacts on your finances, and you will pay more than attorney fees during your divorce process. 

Furthermore, it can be pretty pricey if you and your ex-spouse contest child custody or possessions.

The research by Nolo —a legal Encyclopedia— shows that divorce attorneys can charge anything between $100/hr to $400/hr.

A divorce case without things to contest in court can cost $4k on average.

If the spouses settle their disputes with the help of a lawyer, it can cost an average of $10.6k.

The costs double if the parties move to trial, costing up to $20.4k on average.

Consulting an attorney costs $4.6k on average.

And if you add other legal fees like filing fees, the costs could skyrocket.

You could feel the financial pinch deeper if you have little or no income during the divorce process.

(2) Health And Vehicle Insurance

Health and vehicle insurance is another area that can suffer the consequences of a divorce financially. 

For instance, your ex-spouse might remove you from their health insurance coverage once you finalize the divorce.

And this means that you have to look for your health insurance options to cover you.

After divorce, some health insurance options include getting one through your employer, private insurer, or the government.

Furthermore, moving out of your shared home to a new residence means you’ll have to change your vehicle’s parking. And this means you must get a separate vehicle insurance policy.

(3) Your Debt And Credit Score

Another financial aspect that divorce could hit hard is debt and credit score. 

If you accrued debt while married, you might be responsible for clearing some debts. 

Chances are, the court will divide your debts accordingly, which means you will have to start over with debt.

Also, you might need to make hard inquiries—during the divorce process— with credit reporting agencies, which can ultimately hurt your credit score.

Furthermore, removing yourself or your spouse from a joint account can lower the overall average age of your accounts and impact your credit score.

(4) Child Support

If you and your ex-spouse have kids together, child support might come into the picture. 

Depending on your divorce case outcome, you might have to pay child support, which means you need money to cater for your children.

On the flip side, if you receive child support, it might not be enough to cover all your children’s needs. 

And this means that you need to consider creating an extra source of income to support your kids.

Divorce can also have financial consequences on your savings and taxes. And all these plus other factors can hit you hard financially.

Tips To Help You Start Over After Divorce With No Money

The soul-sucking and financially-straining divorce process is now over. How do you pick up your —financial— pieces and move on?

What is the best way to survive without money after divorce?

Many of these and more questions can run through your mind when starting over after divorce with no income or savings to support you.

1. Take Time To Recover Psychologically And Financially

Divorce is a notable life event that can take a while to adjust to, and the transition can come with mental and financial hurdles. It is vital to take your time to process all the events before, during, and after your divorce.

There is no one-size-fits-all timeline to heal emotionally and financially after a divorce.

Doing life alone can sound quite intimidating, and you need to take time to adjust, heal and accept the new stage in your life.

Remember, your health and well-being are a priority. Lean on your support system and accept all the help you need to go through this new phase.

Audit your expenses and review your new budget once you’re ready.

2. Create A New Monthly Budget

The first step to moving on financially after a divorce is to create a new monthly budget. Chances are you are stuck with more expenses and little to no income to cover everything.

Work out a new budget that fits your current financial situation—even if it means downsizing. 

Changing your money-spending habits can seem impossible, but it is doable and can help you avoid financial pitfalls like huge debts.

At this point, your goal is to meet life’s basic needs without struggling.

Setting a new monthly budget is equally vital, even if you earn an excellent income. The court might decide you should pay your ex-partner child support or alimony.

If you’re not used to budgeting for a household, it is pretty tricky to create one for yourself.

Luckily you can consider using budgeting apps like YNAB (You Need A Budget) to create a new realistic budget.

YNAB can help you take control of your money—no matter how little— and align your financial goals.  

Another excellent option is to consult a certified divorce financial planner to help you figure out your after-divorce financial planning.

3. Look For Financial Support From Local Communities And Government

Another option you can consider is applying for financial support from your local communities or the government.

Starting over with no job or a place to put your head can be depressing.

The government can help you get food and housing to have time to find a job and put your life on the right path financially.

Also, government support can help you save money if your paycheck is stretched thin.

Another option is to apply for tax relief to help minimize your tax liability as a divorcee. The money you save from taxes could go a long way in helping you meet your needs, settle debt, and save.

You’ve got this, and you can rebuild your life and thrive again. Take this phase as a temporary setback and focus on living a fulfilling life.

4. Sell Things That Remind You Of Your Failed Marriage

After your divorce, chances are you might have some items awarded to you after the settlement.

Often such things can bring bad memories from your failed marriage. 

Offload the emotional baggage that comes with things you owned in your previous marriage by selling them. 

Convert stuff you owned in your previous marriage to cash by selling them online or offline.

Some typical items to sell after divorce include furniture, appliances, electronic devices, jewelry, art pieces, clothes, shoes, etc.

Selling significant properties like your house and vehicles depends on the case outcome. If you get to keep the family home but don’t want to live there, you can consider selling it and getting a new one.

It is easy to sell stuff these days. For instance, you can consider listing everything you want to sell on Facebook Marketplace or Instagram or post a TikTok video to get people to buy them.

Alternatively, there are many places online to sell your pre-owned items. Gazelle, for instance, is an excellent place to sell your pre-owned consumer electronics.

eBay is another best online marketplaces to help you convert your pre-owned stuff to cash to help you start after divorce.

The money you get from selling pre-owned stuff can help boost you as you start a new chapter in your life.

5. Learn A New Profitable Skill

If you’ve been out of work for quite a while, it can be pretty hard to get a new job and start working again.

Learning a new profitable skill is the best way to kick-start a career after divorce.

Learning a new skill can help boost your qualifications and make it easy to get a job.

Additionally, some skills can help you start lucrative online hustles that you can do remotely.

There are many high-income skills that you can learn, like coding, digital marketing, sales, copy-writing, web design, SEO, and much more.

And the exciting news is that you can learn a new skill online for free or purchase premium courses.

Google, for instance, offers free courses on digital marketing and much more.

Remember, focusing on building your career after divorce is the best way to keep yourself busy.

6. Start An Online Side Hustle

Creating an online side hustle is easier now than ever. You can focus on building an online business to help you generate some income.

An online tutoring business, for instance, can earn you up to $844/week on average.

You can also consider other online side hustle ideas like blogging, freelance writing, affiliate marketing, virtual assistance, drop shipping, etc.

Most online side hustles require specific skills, so equipping yourself with new skills is indispensable.

Get on the internet and research side hustles that interest you.

7. Take On A Side Job

If your job doesn’t provide enough to sustain you after the divorce, you can consider working another job to generate more income.

You can join and offer rideshare services or start a delivery service business.

Another option is to freelance on online marketplaces like Fiverr

You can offer social media management, proofreading, editing, graphic design, and more.

You can also consider baby or pet sitting as a side job at a per-hour rate.

8. Qualify For Spousal Support

Consulting with a divorce attorney is crucial to understanding your rights and determining if you qualify for spousal support. 

They will assess your situation, review financial documents, and guide you through the legal process to ensure you receive the financial assistance you may be entitled to.

9. Build Your Credit

Rebuilding your credit is essential for financial independence.

Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to assess your current standing. 

If your credit has been negatively affected by the divorce, take steps to improve it.

Consider applying for a secured credit card, which requires a cash deposit as collateral, or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s card to establish a positive credit history. 

Make timely payments and keep your credit utilization low by using only a small portion of your available credit.

10. Plan Your Retirement

Divorce may have disrupted your retirement plans, but it’s important to reassess and develop a new strategy.

Seek guidance from a financial advisor or retirement planner who can help you evaluate your current financial situation, set retirement goals, and create a personalized plan. 

They will provide insights on suitable retirement accounts (such as IRAs or 401(k)s) and investment options aligned with your risk tolerance and timeline.

11. Create A Debt Repayment Savings Fund

Start by making a list of all your debts, including credit cards, loans, and outstanding bills.

Prioritize your debts based on factors such as interest rates, outstanding balances, or emotional weight.

Allocate a portion of your income each month specifically for debt repayment. 

While making minimum payments on all accounts, focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate or the smallest balance first, depending on your preferred method (snowball or avalanche). 

As you pay off each debt, redirect those funds to tackle the next one.

Simultaneously, build a savings fund to handle unexpected expenses and prevent further debt accumulation.

12. Downsize And Cut Expenses

Take a close look at your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back.

Consider downsizing your living arrangements to a smaller and more affordable home or apartment. 

Selling unnecessary possessions can help you generate extra income while de-cluttering your life.

Review and renegotiate contracts, subscriptions, and services to find opportunities for cost reduction.

Create a budget to track your income and expenses meticulously, and find affordable alternatives for entertainment and leisure activities.

13. Share Living Expenses

Explore options for shared housing or renting a room to further reduce your living expenses. 

Sharing the costs with a roommate, moving in with family or friends, or considering co-living arrangements can significantly alleviate the financial burden. 

Besides the financial benefits, shared living can provide emotional support and companionship during this transitional period.

14. Set Up Bank Accounts In Your Own Name

Setting up bank accounts in your own name after a divorce is crucial for achieving financial independence and security. 

By opening new accounts separate from joint accounts, you gain control over your personal finances, ensure a clear separation of assets, and protect your privacy and security.

It enables you to establish a new budget, manage expenses effectively, and build your credit history. 

By taking this step, you lay the foundation for financial autonomy and empower yourself to make independent decisions about your money, fostering a sense of control and stability in your post-divorce life.

15. Review And Update Your Insurance Policies

It is essential to ensure that your insurance coverage aligns with your new status and circumstances.

This includes health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and any other policies you may have.

If you were previously covered under your ex-spouse’s insurance, it is crucial to explore and secure alternative coverage options.

You can consider obtaining insurance through your employer or researching private insurers to find a suitable plan that meets your needs.

Updating your insurance policies not only provides you with the necessary protection but also allows you to take control of your own financial and personal well-being, providing peace of mind as you embark on your new journey.

You can pull through after divorce with no money. 

The most crucial thing is creating an income-generating hustle, budgeting your income, and saving money for the rainy seasons.

Also, focus on building your creditworthiness by paying off debts.

Hopefully, the above tips can motivate you to take charge of your financial life after divorce. 

Conclusion

Starting over after divorce with limited financial resources can seem overwhelming, but it is important to remember that it is possible to rebuild your life and create a better future. 

It may require small steps, such as creating a realistic budget and seeking financial assistance.

Still, these efforts will help you to regain your independence and establish a stable foundation for your new life. 

Building a strong support system, including friends, family, or a therapist, can provide invaluable emotional support and guidance during this challenging time. 

Remember to be patient with yourself and remain committed to your goals.

With determination, resilience, and a positive mindset, you can overcome obstacles and create a brighter future.

FAQs

Creating a budget is an essential step in rebuilding your financial life after divorce.

Start by tracking your income and expenses, and identify areas where you can cut back on unnecessary spending.

Make a list of all your debts and prioritize paying off high-interest debts first.

It may also be helpful to seek advice from a financial planner or counselor who can provide guidance on creating a realistic budget and sticking to it.

After divorce, it may be necessary to increase your income to make ends meet.

Consider taking on a part-time job or freelancing to earn extra money.

You could also consider selling unwanted items online or starting a small business.

Additionally, you may want to explore opportunities for career advancement or further education to increase your earning potential over time.

Rebuilding your credit after a divorce can take time, but you can start by paying bills on time, reducing your debt, and using credit wisely. You may also want to consider opening a secured credit card or seeking credit counseling.

If you are struggling to make ends meet after a divorce, you may want to seek financial assistance from government programs for nonprofits, consider taking on additional work or freelancing, or explore options for downsizing your lifestyle.

You can start investing for your future after a divorce by setting financial goals, researching different investment options, and seeking the advice of a financial professional. You may want to start with low-risk investments, such as mutual funds, and gradually increase your investment portfolio over time.

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