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A divorce is much more than just emotional pain

Written by - Chitra Grace Marion

October 25, 2017 5 minutes

When the Supreme Court passed its verdict on triple talaq, Muslim women across the country, including me, heaved a big sigh of relief. It was a victory for us, women, who face the maximum pain after a divorce. I, being a divorcee, know how much pain divorce involves.

Divorce is a taboo in the Indian society which calls into question the very institution of marriage. However, given the modern age, divorces have become quite common. In a divorce we women lose the most both in terms of emotion and finance. While emotional loss is difficult, financial loss is a different ball game altogether. I came out from under my husband’s financial umbrella and started supporting myself. Was it easy?

It is anything but. I had a tough time dealing with the financial aspects of a divorce. In hindsight, I see that if I had adopted some basic financial tips, I would have been better off. I didn’t know these financial tips when I was going through a divorce. Knowing them now, I can list them out for you. At least you can learn from my mistakes! So, here we go –

  • Getting involved in the family’s financials

The first step is to achieve financial literacy. When I talk about literacy it doesn’t mean a course in financial planning. It is more to do with your family’s financials. I didn’t know how and where my husband invested. At the time of divorce I had no idea about his financial position and lost out on the settlement. You shouldn’t. While your husband builds his own financial portfolio of investments, get yourself involved in his financial planning process. Know how and where your family invests. This would help you in knowing the net worth of your family. Though divorce might not be in the pipelines, getting yourself financially involved is not only for divorce-planning. It gives you important financial insights too. If your husband, god forbid, passes away suddenly, you should know how to handle his financial portfolio. You never know what your future holds!

  • Creating a financial portfolio for self

I never dealt in financial matters. A mistake I regret now! Don’t be a passive spectator of your husband’s financial portfolio, build one for yourself too. If you are a working woman, invest your earnings in various avenues. Even if you are a home-maker, invest your savings rather than accumulating them in your almirah. Both you and your husband should create funds for your life’s goals. If you stay married, both your funds would be used to meet your financial obligations. If, on the other hand, you get divorced, you would have a corpus of yourself. A win-win situation, don’t you think?

  • Create a contingency fund. Don’t wait for divorce

Since I ignored anything related to finance I didn’t have a contingency fund to fall back on. A contingency fund helps in meeting the unforeseen expenses of a rainy day. For you, the rainy day might be a medical emergency or a divorce. While in the former you would get your husband’s help, what about the latter? You, yourself, would have to deal with it, isn’t it? Don’t wait for divorce to actually happen. It might or it mightn’t. Be on the safer side and create an emergency fund for yourself.

  • Use your alimony money wisely. Invest it

Here at least I was smart. I used my alimony to invest in an instrument which gave me regular payouts to meet my expenses. Alimony payments have become a part and parcel of every divorce settlement. Even in your case you might get alimony payments from your husband. Don’t squander it. Use it wisely like I did. Invest the lump sum alimony money in a good investment instrument so that it grows into a good corpus.

  • Stay financially active even after marriage

I gave up my career after marriage. The reason –to take care of my family’s needs! Look what I got in return – a divorce! Don’t give up your financial independence after marriage. Gone are the days when females were forced to drop their careers after marriage. Many women are enjoying both. You can too. Try and stay financially active even after marriage. Earn, save, invest your money and build a financial portfolio. I didn’t and look where it got me!

Yes, divorce is messy. Yes, it inflicts pain. But, a divorce is much more than just emotional pain. It has far-reaching financial effects too. Only I knew how to deal with my emotional loss but in case of a financial loss things would have been easy if I knew how to deal with it. It was bad for me but you have been educated. Follow these financial tips and equip yourself financially. Don’t repeat my mistakes.

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