Chances are you never thought you would be divorcing in the middle of a pandemic. You have made your wishes known and moved forward with the divorce proceedings… You had no idea that you would also have to deal your employer handing you the pink slip as well! How will you recover from your divorce and impending job loss both emotionally and financially? Read on for top 5 factors you need to consider as you contemplate finding work and negotiating your divorce settlement during a pandemic.
Seek Emotional Support
Losing your job and going through a divorce are two of the most stressful events any person can go through in a lifetime. Facing one of these challenges would be difficult enough but two is downright overwhelming. Figuring out where you will live and how you will finance your new life… Telling your children, friends and family about divorce… It can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Add to this, the financial uncertainty of losing your job and figuring out how you will find new employment in the midst of a pandemic. You may also ask yourself how will you pay for the divorce. How can you pay for your new lifestyle with less resources as a single person while caring for your children?
The important thing to remember as you emotionally juggle all of these obstacles is to seek emotional support. The support can take the form of a friend or family member who will let you talk through your fears and dreams. Emotional support can also take the form of a professional therapist or religious counsellor.
- Article Continued Below -
To Our Newsletter
Consider Upgrading Your Skills and Resume
Due to social distancing guidelines a number of service industries have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic. These include careers in retail, travel, restaurant, personal care services, to name a few. Businesses in certain sectors have been forced to operate in an extremely limited capacity forcing them to lay off many of their long-term workers. Without widespread vaccinations, they may be forced to close permanently or rethink how they will do business moving forward.
Now is the time to upgrade your skills and rethink your career path as well. Ask yourself, what skills will be required by the marketplace as we move through the pandemic? Knowing how to use technology is likely a requirement in this new economy. How can you use your experience skills and talents to take you to your next opportunity? Is your former employer offering any skills training? Are their any opportunities available through EI sponsored programs during covid? Consider speaking with a career counsellor you if you need guidance on your next career move after job loss.
Strengthen Your Cash Reserves
As the saying goes cash is King. Putting pen to paper and figuring out how much funds you have to work with is crucial at this time. Are their bills in the house you are responsible for, and if so how much do all of the bills add up to? How much do you earn a month and how long will you receive this amount? When will you receive unemployment insurance and how much do you expect to get? What cash do you have in the bank to make up the difference between the bills you have to pay and the amount you expect to receive? What assets do you own and what do you owe that can be liquidated to pay the bills?
Also keep in mind their many be financial unknowns along the way. This can include the costs associated with financing your legal bills and paying for unexpected expenses in the home should communication break down during the divorce and your former partner stops paying bills they would normally be responsible for. Check out my article on the top financial tips for the newly divorced for more info.
Your Support Obligations May Change
If you are the higher income earning spouse your support obligations may change. Typically the courts would assess support based on your income. If you are facing sudden unemployment or job loss you would not be expected to pay support on income that you will no longer be earning. It is a good idea to keep your former partner in the loop on your employment status and discuss interim measures to minimize financial conflicts during the divorce.
Talk to a Financial Professional or Lawyer
It is almost impossible to tackle two major life events with without professional help. And getting help does not mean you aren’t capable of managing your personal affairs. The truth is, a competent professional will allow you to gain a clearer picture of the impact of your job loss and divorce. What are the dangers, opportunities and strengths that are specific to your situation? Knowing your numbers such as assets debt and net worth will help to identify opportunities to keep you financially on track as you search for your next big opportunity. Contact your financial professional or lawyer for help!