“There's actually things that women can be doing behind the scenes before they actually even file,” explains Rhonda Noordyk, founder and CEO of the Women's Financial Wellness Center and certified divorce financial analyst. Navigating divorce can be a tricky process, so it is critical to start preparing beforehand. Rhonda recommends starting to prepare at least six months in advance so that you can be more proactive versus reactive. Today, Rhonda shares her top financial tips for helping women navigate a divorce.
Before even filing, it is important to gather information and get really clear on all the finances and assets. If you have not been the one handling the finances for you and your spouse, there is the possibility that you will be blindsided by something. By going through the IRS, you can get a transcript of all prior tax returns, which can be very helpful if you were not involved in filing. Rhonda recommends getting on top of budgeting early and shares several useful apps that are available to help you get started. In addition to getting a clear look at your finances, it is a good idea to also work on your confidence and negotiation skills.
Statistics show that a woman’s lifestyle decreases 41% after a divorce, but that does not have to be what happens to you as long as you prepare as much as you can in advance. Start asking more questions about money and trust your intuition if something seems off. This way you can go into your divorce with enough knowledge to feel confident and prepared for negotiating terms.
“I wanted to create a model where women could come into a space that was safe, and they could ask questions and be empowered and navigate through life's biggest challenges.” (3:30-3:40 | Rhonda)
“There's actually things that women can be doing behind the scenes before they actually even file.” (8:31-8:36 | Rhonda)
“The divorce process in and of itself is very reactive, and not as proactive.” (9:20-9:27 | Rhonda)
“Budgeting is not sexy or glamorous, and nobody really likes to do it. But it's important.” (12:56-13:01 | Rhonda)
“Make sure that you have an awareness of what's going on so that if something does happen, you at least know where to be looking for the information that you need.” (16:20-16:31 | Rhonda)
“The formula for financial confidence is really knowledge plus experience that helps women navigate through life decisions. We can always find the answers, we can always ask questions, it just might not be easy or simple or fast, but it certainly is possible.” (17:51-18:12 | Rhonda)
“Stats show us that women's lifestyle typically goes down 41% after the divorce is over.” (24:17-24:23 | Rhonda)