Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Avoid Poverty After Divorce

paper couple on broken dollar heart

Couples who separate, particularly those with children, almost uniformly experience a decrease in their living standards.  Costs of housing and utilities are no longer shared.  Each person must bear 100% of those expenses.  For women, who often make less money than men, this is a serious problem. 

Child support and temporary spousal support (assuming you are married) often fail to make up for the decline in resources that occurs upon separation.  Furthermore, those payments do not start automatically.  Unless your partner agrees to and does in fact help you support yourself and your children, you will need to pay a lawyer to obtain that support for you. 

In these difficult times, it is easy to take the short view:  Get all the support you can as cheaply as you can and learn to live with less.  Before giving up on a better economic future, you should consider retraining and reeducation. Financial independence is the key to avoiding the poverty that often accompanies divorce.  In its March 23, 2014 Business section The Advocate had excellent advice for women who want better jobs and higher pay:

  • “Dress for the job you want” not for the one you are in. 
  • If you want to move up in your current employment, look and act like management.
  • Volunteer to perform parts of their projects.  That shows initiative and will give you a chance to learn on the job what management does.

If you don’t have a job, look for resources for retraining and reeducation so you can avoid poverty after divorce.  A good place to start is www.louisianaworks.net.  Don’t give up.  Your children are counting on you.