This article describes the way most people feel as they proceed through a divorce process. Please know as you read this article you do not have to experience the same stressful feelings that others have in their divorce process. Things can be different, and in fact much different, than you might imagine as compared to the traditional divorce process. 

New and evolved processes have been developed to manage your financial outcomes focused on divorce engineering and financial outcomes management that is beyond the scope of this article. When you manage your financial outcomes the stress you experience from your divorce all of a sudden remains in check. You feel more in control and you actually do manage your outcomes. It is also important to note, you will inevitably experience stress from a divorce. You can channel this energy into positive feelings. As a result, if you feel in your heart of hearts that you are destined for a different chapter know that your stress can be managed so you can move to the next chapter in your life. With this context please read on yet know you don’t have to experience these stressors in your life. It’s all about the process you choose to manage your outcomes. 

Now, let’s start talking about the headline of this article: What causes financial stress in divorce?

In a divorce process, financial stress can come from just about anywhere

There are not too many events in life which create as much financial stress in someone’s life as a divorce. A divorce can, yet doesn’t have to, create a seismic shift in your financial life and your standard of living. The amount of financial flexibility you have from your divorce, or lack thereof, can accumulate unwanted stress in your life.

Once you decide to move through a divorce process you start to have thoughts about advisory fees, timeline to closure, your future financial life, etc. You try to reconcile these thoughts in so many different ways. Yet all that happens is you stress yourself out even more. Why do you experience this stress? You don’t have financial frameworks to sort through the complexity in your mind. Your blood starts to race as you become concerned which advisor you should select. You wonder whether your advisor will actually be worth the money you will spend on her or him. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the process. In other words, the process to move through your divorce hasn’t even started yet.

Your financial life goes under a microscope for everyone to look at

You may be worried about handling issues independently or what your living arrangements might be in the future, among so many other issues that arise which can be countless. Why are they countless? Your financial life is now under a microscope. Many people will question prior decisions and future positions. Yet, an advisor who is truly your fiduciary will have the skills to figure out how to help you manage these communications. She or he will discover ways to also preserve and capture wealth for you through your divorce process. Sounds odd, but highly skilled advisors know how to do this for you. This same type of advisor will design (design being the key word here) your financial life to work for you before you have signed any documents to finalize your divorce.

The uncertainty about the future creates a fog in people’s minds. 

People who are going through a divorce are seeking mental clarity how to navigate this process. Most divorcing parties go through this process once. Therefore the process is usually considered uncharted waters. 

Before you start the process, you might perceive the financial aspects of your life as complicated. With this perception, the mountain appears higher to climb and rather daunting to manage your outcomes. You know in your heart of hearts one wrong decision can lead to an undesirable outcome. If this sounds like you, then please know you are not alone. Also know there are ways to manage what appears to be a tornado flowing around you all of the time.

With divorce, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the decisions you have to make at any point in time. You likely question how one financial decision will impact another later in the process. Should you make a decision now or wait until you see a more complete picture so you can manage your financial outcomes?

People struggle to focus at work. This leads to a lack of productivity creating risk for you.

A lack of focus at work comes as part of these stressors too (again, it doesn’t have to). Your productivity will likely decline as you are thinking about these issues 24/7. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long to become noticeable to your superiors and your colleagues. They start to wonder what is going on with you as you are not acting like your normal self. This adds more stress to your equation. This can create additional financial pressure as you may lose your job.

Your life flashes before your eyes

When you realize you are getting a divorce suddenly your life flashes through your mind. All of the goals you defined are now disrupted. The expectations you wanted to achieve in your life are now going to be different. For many people, personal finances can be challenging to manage. And even more challenging for people who have a lot of money. In a divorce it is all about the uncertainties and how to manage them. There are processes as noted earlier that can help you manage them.

People do not traditionally learn about financial matters from a divorce. They just slug through the process trying to get to the other side. Divorce can create a loss of security. It can represent a breakdown of what used to be a union, a partnership and teamwork from both parties. The predictability you knew about from your marriage and relied on for years is now starting to change. You may choose to enjoy the change in your life. Or, you may feel like you are starting all over again and all alone. Your feelings will vacillate between exuberance to potentially deep depression. The structure you had is suddenly gone. All of the complaining you did about your marriage suddenly vanishes or appears to no longer exist at least for some fleeting moments. Yet, you realize when everything is settled you still have to function as a family. The way you used to manage your finances as a family is now different.

There is a light on the other side of the tunnel

If you choose this path to get a divorce, know there is a light at the other end of the tunnel. It requires a diligent process to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. All of this is very possible.

About the Author

Larry Smith CPA, MBA

Larry is a Founding Partner of Divorce Outcomes, a specialty professional services firm that analyzes, architects and negotiates all of the financial aspects of a divorce.

Since 2003, Larry has worked with divorcing parties as their fiduciary to design sophisticated divorcing strategies that enable clients to preserve and create wealth from their divorce. As a technical financial expert, he uncovers hidden tradable components through various analytical and architectural processes to arrive at desired outcomes. He is an alumni of KPMG and Andersen and has expertise in:

  • technical accounting, taxation, business consulting, risk management, M&A
  • forensic analysis, performance analytics
  • M&A, business valuations, divorce management, family equity transfers, multi-party negotiations, communications management
  • advanced process engineering, cognitive performance technologies

If You Have a Question

If you have a question, feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 617-680-5222. The call is free. I will spend 30–60 minutes with you. I will provide you an honest assessment as to where I think you are positioned in your divorce process or answer any questions you have. I may provide you some guidance, insight or advice that you can take with you as you wish. There is no obligation to move forward. The phone call is designed to ease your fears, provide you some options to pursue and a potential road to run on that can lead you down a path to achieve a successful outcome.

About Divorce Outcomes

Divorce Outcomes is a specialty services firm that helps people both domestically and internationally manage all of the financial decisions that arise in a divorce process. We are not attorneys. We are financial experts who partner with our clients as their personal financial advocates. We help our clients:

  • manage their divorce process
  • uncover hidden financial risks
  • architect divorce solutions
  • manage ever-changing negotiating positions
  • communicate complex financial matters
  • close the divorce process as soon as possible

Throughout the process we evaluate our clients’ current wealth-at-risk and architect desired outcomes to best preserve or create wealth.

Learn more about us at or review our blogs to gain a clearer understanding about our approach and how we maximize the financial outcomes for our clients.


This communication is for general informational purposes only which may or may not reflect the most current developments. It is not intended to constitute formal advice or a recommended course of action as every person’s situation is unique and different. The information here is not intended to be, and should not be, relied upon by the recipient to make a decision without professional guidance.

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