Original Article by Hadley Malcolm for USA Today

Amber Rodgers provides financial help with divorce, and can help people anticipate what their financial obligations might be after a divorce. For some, it can be a shock to transition from one lifestyle, to the next.

When she was married, Rodgers had never followed a budget or paid bills online or taken care of her taxes — her husband was in charge of the finances.

Once they were no longer together, Rodgers says she struggled to manage all of her expenses and blew a lot of money on feel-good spending.

“When you go from a dual income into a single income, it’s traumatizing,” the 35-year-old says. “I literally had my electricity turned off because I just couldn’t pay my bills. I had to borrow money from friends.”

Don’t wait until it’s too late to plan financially. If you think your marriage is headed towards a divorce, start getting prepared by reviewing bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, and other assets and liabilities.

“Look at the paperwork that’s probably in your house,” she says. “Look at your tax returns. Look at your monthly bills.” Understanding what you’re working with will better help you prepare for how life will change after the divorce, as well as what you need to do to put yourself in the best financial circumstances possible, she says.

Start setting aside emergency cash, too — Rodgers, who recommends having about $2,000 saved, says she stashed hers in a tampon box and used it to pay initial attorney fees.

And make it a priority to seek professional financial help. It’s most ideal to meet with a financial adviser before or at least during the divorce process rather than after the divorce is finalized, DeGroat says.

Marivonne Essex can refer you to some local, professional, financial advisors in Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe, and the greater Houston area. If you would like to make an appointment with Marivonne Essex to discuss you legal and financial options, please fill out our contact form, or call 281-350-4104 .

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