Untying the Knot: Mastering Your Finances Through Your MN DivorceMay 10, 2023
Considering divorce comes with more than just the emotional side of stress. For many women, they also struggle with the financial decisions that need to be made once their MN divorce is finalized. Some women aren’t involved with the household finances and are completely left in the dark about what or how bills are paid, what debt the family might have or even what the household income is. This week, I had Rhonda Noordyk, a financial strategist for women going through divorce on the podcast. She had some incredible insights so I am passing those on to you!
Often, the first struggle for women contemplating divorce or going through the process is that they get in their own way. There are two reasons for this: fear and hope. Women experience the fear of what will happen if they stay and what happens if they make the decision to go. Hope also comes into play. As women we can get stuck hoping that the situation or person is going to change, or that the empty promises will be fulfilled.
Stepping back and looking at the reality of the situation, the years that have passed, and getting really honest with yourself if this is the life you want to live is the first step.
Then, take inventory of what is holding you back, and take the baby-steps to conquer those things. Meet with a team, gather financial information, look through the mail, and get curious about what may be happening behind the scenes that you’ve been unaware of. Taking action will leave you feeling more confident to make decisions.
As you gather the information, you’ll have the power to go into mediation or the divorce and negotiate what you need. Some examples of things to look for:
- Sign up for USPS email notifications and see if there is mail that is going “missing”
- Review tax documents to understand the household income
- Review the cost of the mortgage and bills so you know what it takes financially to keep the house
The next area of focus that Rhonda shared is confidence. It is better to be proactive and take the steps to understand the financial situation of the home than to just watch it unfold and feel like you have to operate from fight or flight mode. To do this, you must gain knowledge and experience. Knowledge means having familiarity with things, knowing where to look and what questions to ask. Experience means facing hard things and knowing that you can come out on the other side stronger. Without both experience and knowledge it will be very hard to feel confident in the decisions that you are making. When you get to the other side of the divorce, you can still be confident and stand tall no matter what happened during the process.
Towards the end of our podcast episode, Rhonda provided us with a glimpse into The Bridge Method which is her signature method she takes her clients through.
- B: Breathe, get calm, and build your team. Step back and look at the reality of the situation.
- R: Review the financials. Understand what bills the household has, what they mean, how they are paid, etc.
- I: Identify the gaps. What information do you still need that you don’t have yet? Identify any other people that may need to be involved in the conversation (mediator, financial advisor, etc)
- D: Dial in the financials. At this point you have the information, but you need to analyze it and make decisions based on your findings.
- G: Guide clients to finish strong. This is when you are nearing the end of the process, so buttoning everything up to be aware of any issues that might come up
- E: Exhale, it’s over now. Create an action plan with what post divorce will look like.
I am so grateful for my conversation with Rhonda, and I hope that you are able to find some nuggets to take away with you from the conversation we had. Visit Rhonda’s website if you are interested in her course or 1:1 support and to tune in to her podcast. If you are in the Minnesota area and looking for a mediator, contact me at LesaKoski.com, I’d love to support you.
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