When you decide to divorce, you’ll have immediate and ongoing concerns about the impact on your children. While this is something to strongly consider, it’s not a good enough reason to remain in a hopeless marriage. You need to do what’s best for you, your mental health and your long-term goals.

Financial planning before and during the divorce process is critical to your own success, as well as your ability to properly raise your children.

Here are some of the most important questions to address:

  • Do you have a property and debt division checklist? This will guide an important part of the divorce process: the division of assets and debt. Without this, you could miss out on assets that are rightfully yours and/or get stuck with debt that you shouldn’t have to pay.
  • Have you created a post-divorce budget? Don’t put this off too long, as your budget will give you a clear idea of how much you earn and spend each month. With this, it’s clear as to whether or not you need to change your approach to spending.
  • Will you receive child support or alimony? There’s no guarantee of either, but it’s something to strongly consider. If you’re in line to receive one or both, make sure you take advantage. Conversely, the court may order you to pay one or both of these. In that case, you also need to prepare.
  • What are the short- and long-term costs of raising your children? When it comes to the here and now, your focus will turn to monthly expenses, such as for clothes, food and extracurricular activities. However, you should also consider the long-term impact on your finances, such as the cost of college.

Financial planning is difficult enough when you’re not going through a divorce. If you combine these two, along with concerns about the well-being of your children, it’s natural to worry about the future.

On the plus side, proper planning will help put you on the path to success. When you know what to do in regard to your finances, you can make adjustments that work in favor of you and your children.