Rebuilding Life and Finances After Surviving A Divorce

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Rebuilding life and finances after surviving a divorce can be a long road but the road has to start somewhere. When we get married it’s supposed to be for life, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer but we know actions speak louder than words.

We live our lives as if tomorrow will be the best day we have ever lived until a marriage breakdown occurs. Money fights and Money problems being the top reason people divorce yet this is something that doesn’t really need to happen.

With the rising cost of living and families turning to credit and spending more than they earn thus keeping some in debt denial it’s no surprise marriages fail. The walls are crumbling for some couples faster than they are being built.

Most families need two incomes just to keep the roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their children’s backs. People are struggling to find work after massive lay-off’s, disabilities and upon graduating University and College. If you think acting like Mr and Mrs. Money Bags is the best way to be the talk of your friends, think again.

Not all divorces end because of money and really no one can say what is right and wrong but we do know that money is the root of all evil and can break relationships in half whether it be a marriage, friendship or relations with family.

We can all work on our finances by controlling our spending by budgeting and always having an emergency savings fund. Sadly though, sometimes this isn’t enough or the love has gone south high above the realms of no return, not even for a second chance. If divorce, lawyers, fees, courts, separation, child support, etc were not enough the stress of picking yourself back up after the pieces are shattered can be just as dreadful.

If you have never lived through a divorce and I hope you never do you will never understand the pain and fiery that couples go through. I don’t know and I never want to know but I listen and I am a person with feelings and a heart.

Even if couples say it is amicable there will always be a hole in their heart or a piece of their heart left behind. I believe we all have feelings unless you are some weird and wonderful person with a black heart incomprehensible to anyone, if ever in our lifetime.

Divorce Rate

According to Stats Canada in 2005 couples married between 5-9 years had the highest divorce rate at 16,207 divorces just up from 15,759 in 2004.  A study from the Vanier Institute of the Family in 2010 states that 4 in 10 first marriages end in divorce based on  2006 census data.

Want some Divorce Advice?

It costs, and it costs big time for some especially how divorce law can get pretty messy when children are involved or the procedures are long and drawn out.

The Ministry of the Attorney General is a good place to start when the time is right for you to start the divorce process. Is there  a right or wrong time deciding when to get a divorce, maybe but it’s up to you. If your mind is made up or the circumstances dictate the proposition then move forward as fast as you can. No sense prolonging the inevitable, life must go on.

Cost of Divorce

The cost of the divorce process in Ontario can be astronomical with retainer fees between $5,000-$10,000 and a further $200-$500 per hour. The worst part is if the divorce is contested than you better run for the hills or hope you have a secret stash of money. Contested divorces can cost upwards of $50,000 before they even go to trial according to myontariodivorce.com.

Some people try to go it alone with the divorce in a box and although the costs are cheaper, if the divorce is contested you better line up your savings as the bill will rise exponentially. Although the best way to save on legal fees according to Canadian Divorce Laws is to do as much of the work as you can yourself. Roll up your sleeves and see if you both can sort out your issues as it will make everything easier.

So although this topic is broad and I certainly cannot fit into one neat blog post take the time to know your rights. Know what you are getting into and plan the execution of a divorce proposition the easiest, cheapest way you can. If you have divorce questions seek the advice of a professional so you aren’t led astray. When the divorce is finally over you can move forward with your life to start over. Sometimes this is not as easy as it seems according to one fan who wrote to me.

Reader Story That Was Submitted: How Her Finances Survived her Divorce

When I first left my first marriage, I was broke with a capital B! Worse still, I was broke and in debt with the ex’s credit card debts in the amount of $60,000 to pay off while I made a whopping $18,000 per year.

The first thing I did was move back with my parents for 6 months to get a few months worth of salary in the bank, less the debt payments of course. I needed first & last month’s rent + a security deposit + the connection fee for my telephone. I found a cheap apartment, parked my car, took transit to work, had no cell, no internet, no cable or going out except for a one night a week.

I took a local night course per semester through the adult education program (about $50 per course) and I walked to the class until all the debts were repaid. That was a really long 5 years and I was lucky enough to receive a small windfall during that time that I dumped right on the debts. But, on the upside, I learned to appreciate the smallest of little “treats”.

My mother would take me out for a salad bar type of supper with her every couple of weeks. She regularly came and picked up my dog and took her to the beach for the day so she got out and had some serious exercise and then came home & bathed her before I got home from work.

I took every bit of help that was offered to me and I gratefully appreciated the lightening of my load. I couldn’t justify spending any extra transit money to go to the library so I read anything and everything that anyone was willing to give me for free – since that and walking my dog were my entertainment.

As I was in a new city, 3,500 miles from all my friends in Ontario, it was a lonely time but it built a self-reliance that I never dreamed I would have. I wrote letters to my friends, as I certainly couldn’t afford to call. You really find out who your friends are! I spoke to a gal yesterday that rode out that dark time with me, and has been in my life now for 36 years!

Would I like to repeat those days…nope! Could I cut back to that stark level again…in a heart beat if needed.
How did your finances survive Divorce?
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  1. I think the cost for divorce has changed now. It cost approx $23,730 for contested and $1,740 for uncontested according to Edmonton Law firm

  2. Great post!! I’m glad that unlike a lot of other posts on this subject, you don’t state that the FIRST thing someone should do is hire an attorney. I think people truly waste a lot of money by not educating and doing things for themselves. I’m currently in the early stages of separation and my husband and I are trying to do things ourselves as much as possible – we don’t have moeny to spend on . Planning our finances has been quite difficult. We’re using this website thistoo to help us figure out our options for splitting assets. I’m wondering if you think a separation agreement is really necessary? It seems like we can do everything else ourselves. THanks!

    1. Hi AOttawa,
      If a couple can work together I think that’s great. In terms of a separation agreement, I’m not sure about however maybe another reader can help out who has been through a divorce before. I will post your comment on my Facebook page to see if we can get any feedback for you. How’s that? Mr.CBB

  3. Oh, my gosh…finances after divorce sucks. I had to refinance a joint loan that exxy decided he was going to stop paying on…couldn’t afford it on my own income. Other than that I reduced my lifestyle and worked my butt off. Thank god we didn’t have kids or anything. Make sure you get to joint bank accounts and assets before the other person sneaks all your positive money away. Or get something in writing to work it out fairly.

  4. I’ve been through a divorce and a common-law separation and I’m still struggling, 8 years after the common-law separation, to recover financially. During my divorce we sold our home that had been purchased in a high market and sold during a very, very low market. My former spouse and I lost over $10,000; we are very fortunate it wasn’t more than that.

    When I left my common-law partner I left with only my clothes and the kids clothing and their bedroom furniture. I knew for about six months that I was going to have to leave so I started purchasing smaller household items and stashing them away, things like cutlery, towels, etc., However, during that separation I made some really unwise financial choices; I purchase all new furniture for my apartment which really put me into debt. Then two short years later I decided to make a cross-country move to be closer to my family which again set me back even further since I was unable to find a job for six weeks and we lived on credit during that time. I sold all that new furniture for a fracion of the price I had paid for it and started all over again, this time I was a bit smarter and only purchased a new bed for my daughter other than that we lived with hand me down furniture, dishes etc.
    I’m finally starting to see some progress in getting my debt down to a more manageable level and it really feels good. I think we’ve all made mistakes but the important thing is to learn from those mistakes rather than continue to repeat them. : )

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Pam and I hope others in a similar situation can learn from them. This is what sharing is all about so others can move forward and not make these mistakes. Glad to hear you are getting back on track and seeing some positives. When the debt is gone you will feel like the world is in your hands. Keep at it and keep on budgeting… it will get you there! Cheers Mr.CBB

  5. Came home from being out on a lovely dinner date with my husband to see this. Hope to continue to be in the dark about this subject. Not the kind of pain or hassle that I would ever want to deal with. My heart goes out to all who have, are or will go through this. Hope my Mr. doesn’t see that I read this unless he sees my comment!!!

    1. It’s not a bad thing to be informed or to learn about what others go through. It may not ever happen to you but it may happen to someone you love or a friend so you will then be armed with knowledge. Cheers darlin! Mr.CBB

  6. My divorce put me approx $15,000 in debt because I had to buy him out of the house. I rolled that into my mortgage and got a roomate and struggled for a long time…but I got to keep my house and that made it worth while. It’s quite liberating to be a young woman with your own house 🙂 Regarding the comment about “Even if couples say it is amicable there will always be a hole in their heart or a piece of their heart left behind”….I have got to say I’m not a cold b*tch but I don’t know, I just don’t feel anything but like I had a friend and now we don’t talk anymore except for once in a blue moon and I think a lot of us have friends like that.

    1. It’s good to get feedback from people that have gone through a divorce. I don’t know how you felt or if you went searching online for others that were divorcing or for advice but I hope people drop in here to give this post a read. Cheers Jen! Mr.CBB

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