7 Tips for Starting Over After a Divorce At 40

Starting over after divorce at 40? This guide will help you focus on your wellbeing and move forward from your separation.
Bruce Hodges
April 10, 2024
Apply to Parachute and start your journey to financial wellness.
Apply now
Table of Contents

7 Tips for Starting Over After a Divorce At 40

Whether you're confronting the end of a long-term marriage or embarking on a new chapter of your life after decades of commitment, starting over after divorce at 40 or any kind of separation can be both liberating and overwhelming. 

In this guide, we're looking at seven valuable tips to help ensure your financial stability while navigating this significant life transition. 

Update Your Legal and Financial Documents

Facing divorce after 40 can be emotionally challenging, but it's also crucial that you prioritize practical matters. Start by updating your legal and financial documents to reflect your new status. 

This includes: 

  • Your will
  • Power of attorney
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Any other legal paperwork that may be affected by your divorce

By ensuring these documents accurately represent your wishes, you can protect yourself and your assets moving forward. It’s important to pay attention to these documents during any type of life change, so a divorce or separation is no exception.

Take this time to ensure your legal documentation is up-to-date in every area.

Address Any Debt You Might Have 

Confronting outstanding debt is a crucial step towards financial freedom. Take the time to assess all your debts, including credit card balances, loans, and mortgages. After a divorce or separation, you may be left with debts you didn’t expect or are struggling to pay. Getting familiar with your debts is the first step to paying them off.

If you had to take a short-term loan during your transition period, you may want to address high-interest debt as soon as possible. Options like debt consolidation could simplify your payments and potentially reduce interest rates.

Close Any Joint Accounts

Closing joint accounts may feel daunting, but it's a necessary step to disentangle your finances from your ex-spouse. Whether it's joint bank accounts or shared credit cards, closing these accounts can help prevent future financial complications. This will also ensure that you are in complete control of your credit score, which is important for your financial future.

While it may be a difficult task, especially if there are lingering emotions, it's an essential step towards establishing your financial autonomy and moving forward with confidence. 

Assess Your Financial Position

Now more than ever, it's important to take a close look at your financial situation. Gather information about your income, assets, and expenses to gain a clear understanding of where you stand financially. 

In many relationships, one person takes more of a financial role. If you aren’t used to managing finances yourself, it’s especially important to sit down and understand your position.

Doing this will serve as a roadmap for making informed decisions about budgeting, saving, and investing for your future. Seeking guidance from financial professionals can provide valuable insights and support during this process. Ensure that you are carefully selecting your mentors and finding trustworthy advisors during this vulnerable time.

Build (or Rebuild) Your Credit

Divorce can impact your credit score, but rebuilding it is entirely within your reach. Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report and identifying areas for improvement. 

Focus on establishing positive credit habits. Two of these habits are making timely payments and keeping credit card balances low. Improving your credit score will not only open doors to financial opportunities but also boost your confidence as you rebuild your life after divorce.

Starting a Budget 

Creating a budget tailored to your new circumstances is a powerful tool for regaining control of your finances. Track your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back or reallocate funds. 

Set realistic spending limits for essentials like housing and groceries while also allocating resources for savings and discretionary spending. A well-crafted budget will not only help you manage your finances effectively but also provide a sense of security during this period of transition.

Outline Your Long-Term Financial Goals 

Despite the challenges you're facing, it's essential to maintain a vision for your financial future. Outline your long-term goals, whether it's saving for retirement, purchasing a home, or funding your children's education. 

Break down these goals into actionable steps and create a realistic timeline for achieving them. Remember, starting over after divorce is a journey, and having a clear vision for your financial future can provide hope and direction as you navigate this new chapter in your life.

Starting Over After Divorce at 40: What Not to Do

When going through a separation, there are a few things you should be wary of, which could have a negative impact in the future.

  • Avoid Ignoring Financial Responsibilities: It may be tempting to bury your head in the sand and ignore financial responsibilities, but doing so can exacerbate your situation in the long run. Stay proactive and address any outstanding debts, bills, or financial obligations promptly.
  • Avoid Overextending Yourself Financially: As you rebuild your life after divorce, it's important to live within your means and avoid overextending yourself financially. Resist the temptation to splurge on unnecessary purchases or take on new financial burdens that may strain your budget. Yes, your lifestyle may have to change and there may be a period of adjustment. This is temporary, and it’s important to recognize your new financial situation to avoid digging a deeper hole.
  • Avoid Keeping Financial Secrets: Transparency is key, especially if you have shared financial responsibilities with your ex-spouse or children from the marriage. Avoid keeping financial secrets or hiding assets, as this can lead to trust issues and legal complications down the road.
Bruce Hodges
Bruce, Founder and CEO of Parachute, worked for several of Canada’s top Banks, published research for the Canadian Bankers Association, and taught E-commerce Strategy in Wilfrid Laurier University’s MBA program. His first start-up built credit solutions for the likes of National Bank, Fair Isaac, and Ford Credit globally. Prior to starting Parachute, Bruce was COO of Foresters Financial, and EVP Transformation at CIBC, one of Canada’s top 5 banks. Bruce founded Parachute to disrupt the financial wellness space taking on payday, and high interest predatory lenders, with the intent to bring at risk Canadians back from the brink to good financial health.
Follow us:

More from our blog:

Start your path to financial well-being today.
Get a loan that gives you cash-back.

We truly believe financial well-being should be accessible to all Canadians. Our three step program empowers, educates, and rewards our customers. We offer the only loan where someone can leave with more savings than when they started.

Parachute is not a a bankruptcy, consumer proposal or debt management proposal company.
© 2022 WHF Inc. All rights reserved. Myparachute.co and the Myparachute.co designs are trademarks of White Hat Financial Inc. (‘WHF’) and used here under licence.