If you’ve gone through a divorce, then you know how stressful it can be. You may lose your home, savings, pets, family, and even friends during a divorce.
Starting over can be very overwhelming, and that’s where this article comes in. In this article, I discuss some things you can do to help you start over after a divorce with no money.
It won’t be an easy process, but with patience, hard work, and time, you can get your life back together again.
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How To Start Over After Divorce With No Money
1. You may qualify for spousal support
If you’re going through a divorce, then you may have the opportunity to ask for spousal support as part of the settlement.
Spousal support is a payment that the spouse with more money provides to the spouse with less money to help maintain his/her lifestyle.
According to Patrick Kilbane a former divorce lawyer, each state has its own rules to determine how much a person will receive in spousal support, and for how long.
Some factors that go into it include: how much your ex makes, how long you were married, and whether you left your career to be a stay-at-home mom, etc. Make sure you consult with an attorney to determine if you qualify.
Spousal support is one way you can start over after a divorce with no money
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2. Seek child support payments If you qualify
One thing every parent worries about is how they will financially take care of their kids.
If you have children with your ex, and they’re under 18 years old, then you may qualify for child support payment. You will have to file paperwork with the help of a lawyer to get the process started.
The money you receive from child support will help you start over after your divorce.
3. Lean on family and friends for help
Getting a divorce can be a very isolating experience. That’s why having the support of family and friends can make all the difference.
Your family and friends may be able to let you stay with them temporarily until you can get on your feet again. So don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
If you know someone who has also gotten divorced in your circle, ask them for support. They can share some tips on how they were able to start over after their divorce.
They can also be a source of emotional support because they know what you’re going through.
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4. Learn how to budget
Starting your life over means that you need to learn to live within your means. You’ll need to tighten your budget and only buy what you need.
Learning how to budget will help you live a minimalist lifestyle so that you can afford your bills and also save for the future.
One of my favorite budgeting methods is the cash envelope system. It’s the simplest way to budget for beginners.
It involves stuffing cash into labeled envelopes to be used for purchase each month. When the cash is gone, you stop spending.
To learn more about this method, check out how to use a cash envelope. For more details
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5. Go back to school to get a new certification
Earning a new degree or getting a new certification will help increase your competitiveness in the job market.
With new credentials, you’ll be able to make more money and build your finances.
Most schools will give you financial aid if you have a low income. There are also scholarships available in most financial institutions.
Take advantage of these programs to help you start over after a divorce with no money
6. Determine your skill set
Sometimes we don’t realize the type of skills we have until we sit down to think about them.
Take a pen and paper, and list everything you’re good at. Anything at all could be considered a skill in the right setting.
For example, as a stay-at-home mom, some of my skills are; being organized, financial account management, good listening skill, and cooking to name a few.
If I was going back to work, I would try to tailor all my skills to the job I was applying for. When you’re starting over after a divorce with no money, you need to build your confidence.
Writing down a list of all your skills will help you do that.
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7. Rewrite your resume
Now that you have a long list of skills you’ve written down, it’s time to prepare your resume.
Before you rewrite it, pick 2-3 similar jobs that you’re interested in, and compare their job descriptions. Decide which type of skills you’ve listed better match the requirements and job descriptions listed.
When you’ve figured that out, tailor your resume to each skill set to help you land the job.
8. Find a better job
If your job doesn’t pay well, then consider getting a better one. You may even have to get two jobs to make ends meet if you’re starting over after a divorce with no money.
With a good job, you’ll be able to take care of yourself, and your kids. You’ll also be able to pay back any debt that you owe.
10. Seek government assistance
Government assistance is a good option for people who have low incomes. There are tons of government programs dedicated to helping the poor.
If you’re starting over after a divorce with no money, then you may need a place to stay, health insurance, and money for food.
Look into your state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid provides free health care coverage for low-income earners.
You may also qualify for Tanf (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) which will provide you with monthly cash assistance.
Other government programs you should check out include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Childcare Vouchers, Housing Assistance Programs, and HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) which will help pay your utilities.
11. Seek help finding a job
One of the best ways to get back on your feet after a divorce is to find a better-paying job.
There are apprenticeship programs that provide paid on-the-job training. These programs are sponsored by the government for low-income earners. Check out the US Department of Labor website for more details.
If your state has a workforce 1 program, you can go through them to find a job. Workforce 1 provides resume help, as well as monthly hiring fairs with recruiters from different companies.
12. Work out a plan to pay down your debt
If you acquired debt as part of your divorce, then you need to find a way to pay it off.
Some debts you may have includes mortgage payments, loans, car payments, credit card debt, etc. Below are some things you can do to help pay down your debt.
How To Pay Down Your Debts
Set up a payment plan
To manage your debt, you should first talk to your vendors and merchants about a payment plan. Most companies will be willing to set one up for you.
Create a debt repayment savings fund
Another thing you can do to manage your debt is to create a debt repayment savings fund.
You can create a debt repayment savings fund by opening a separate bank account dedicated to paying down your debt.
Put a small portion of your monthly check into this account and use it for the biggest debt you have.
This method is known as the sinking fund method. After you’ve paid off your biggest debt, move on to the next biggest debt. You’d repeat this process until every debt is paid off.
Use a debt repayment tracker
A simple debt repayment tracker will help you keep tabs on which debt you’re working to pay off.
Being able to physically see the amount you owe reduce every month is a huge encouragement to keep going.
Find a way to earn more money
If you have a lot of debt, your current income may not be enough to pay them off.
You’ll need to come up with a plan to earn more money. Consider doing some gig work or getting a second job to help you pay down your debt faster.
If you use all these strategies listed above, you’ll be able to survive after your divorce even with no money.
Other Ways To Start Over After Divorce With No Money
13. Focus on your mental health
If you want to rebuild your life after a divorce, you’ll need to work on your mental health.
It’s not enough to focus on making money. You have to heal the wounds caused by the failure of your marriage, especially if any kind of abuse was involved.
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Therapy is a great way to work through these issues. A good therapist will give you tools to cope with your divorce trauma.
If you have kids, they may also benefit from talking to a therapist as well. I also recommend joining a divorce support group in your area to get support from like-minded people.
14. Build your credit
If you have good credit, it’ll be easy for you to start over after a divorce with no money.
A bank will trust you to get a loan, and you can easily rent an apartment. With good credit, you could qualify to buy a car as well. If your credit isn’t good don’t worry.
There are simple things you can start doing today to build it back up.
One thing you can do is buy a new phone on credit directly from the manufacturer. They will open a line of credit for you after purchase. As you pay off the phone, your credit report will be sent to the 3 credit bureaus. Note that this method doesn’t work for phones purchased from a third party seller.
Check out this article to learn other simple ways to build credit to get started today.
Set up your financial accounts
Most married couples share the same financial accounts. You may have had a joint checking, savings, and even retirement account with your ex-partner.
If this is the case, then you will want to set up new accounts in your name when starting over. You will need a new checking and savings account.
It’s also a good idea to have a separate “tax account” if you’re a freelancer or gig worker. This account is where you’ll keep money that’ll go towards paying your taxes every year.
Plan for your retirement
It’s never too late to plan for your retirement. It’s especially important to do so when you’re starting over after a divorce with no money.
There are many ways to save for retirement. Some of them include rolling over your old 401K into an IRA, opening a solo 401K, and even a regular savings account.
To read about each one of these in detail, check out this article on 9 ways to save for retirement
If you’re age 62 or over, you may be eligible to receive social security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record. The social security administration has a lot of criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for this type of social security benefit. Check out the SSA website for more detail
Start a business
If you’ve ever dreamt of running your own business, now would be the time to start. You can run a business on location or from home. See my article on work-from-home business ideas to get started.
You can apply for the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) if you live in a state that has this program active. With the SEAP, you get a monthly stipend that you can use to start your own small business. You’ll also get access to small business counseling as you go.
Running your own small business is a great way to start over after a divorce.
Get a side hustle
A side hustle is a great way to increase your income streams when you’re starting over after a divorce with no money.
Money from your side hustles will help you pay your bills, save for retirement, and take care of your kids.
There are many unique side hustles you can do to start making money today. Some of them include: wrapping your car in advertising, serving as an online juror, etc. See my list of unique side hustles to get started today.
Final Thoughts On Starting Over After Divorce With No Money
Starting over after a divorce with no money is not an easy thing. You just need to put one foot in front of the other each day, until things get easier.
Use the methods I’ve listed in this article as a starting point on your journey. Know that you’re not alone and that one day, things will get better.