Dear Coleen: Divorce has left me with money worries


Dear Coleen

I’m 59 and two years ago I divorced my husband of 30 years. It was very amicable – we’d simply grown apart.

After our two daughters left home, we realised we had nothing in common and would be happier on our own. When the girls were born I gave up work and I only had part time jobs when they got older.

After my ex-husband and I sold our house and divided things up, I managed to buy myself a one bedroom flat and I have a very small pot of savings. However, I’ve taken a long hard look at my finances and I’m very worried about my future.

I still work part time and I’ve tried to increase my hours, but there isn’t the work available. I’ve worked out that if I live for another 20 years I’ll barely have enough to live on and life will be tough.

I can’t help but feel it’s a little unfair as I gave up work to care for the girls and now I’m paying the price. I want to speak to my ex-husband about this to see if he could give me some more money, but I’m worried it will look like I’m money-grabbing. I just don’t know what else to do.

Coleen says

You don’t sound like you’re money-grabbing, so I doubt you’ll come across that way. The good news is your divorce was amicable, so speak to your ex husband and ask him if you can chat about this.

Tell him what you’ve just told me – that you’re worried about your future and that your earning power has taken a huge hit because you gave up your career for so long when the girls were young.

Tell him you’re worried you’re not going to have enough to live on. Be honest and try and come up with a solution together.

I was a stay-at-home mum and 35 when my divorce from Shane came through and one of the scariest things was worrying about how I’d earn a living on my own.

See if you’re entitled to any benefits. Don’t be too proud to accept them.

As you and your husband have worked and paid taxes, you deserve help when you need it.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here