What to Do After a Divorce is Finalized
During your divorce, you likely faced financial ups and downs, economic adjustments, and significant personal changes. Now that you have officially ended your marriage, it’s time to think about the road ahead. In order to move forward from your divorce quickly and smoothly, there are things to do to secure your future when the settlement is complete.
In order to ensure you’re moving in the right direction after your divorce, make sure you complete these key tasks:
- Divide all assets and debts outlined in your settlement order: During your divorce you decided how all of your shared assets would be divided. Now that the divorce is finalized, its time to put those plans in to motion. The court may have given you a specific deadline whereupon all assets need to be divided. However, the sooner you get this taken care of, the better. Failure to follow a divorce settlement goes directly against court orders and could result in serious repercussions.
- Update your will, power of attorney, and healthcare directives: If you and your spouse shared an estate plan, make sure you make the appropriate changes to each document once the divorce is finalized. This includes changing your will, power of attorney, and other important documents that may have given authority to your ex-spouse in an emergency.
- Help your kids adjust: Your children are undoubtedly still getting used to the new family dynamics, which is why its so important to remain attentive and involved. Communicate openly with your children and encourage them to open up in return. Adjusting to a divorce won’t happen overnight, so encourage your kids to see the positives and reinforce the idea that, while your family dynamics may be changing, you are still a family.
- Get your finances in order: Now that you’re an independent entity, you need to make sure your finances are in good shape. Check your credit score and make sure all of your accounts are separate from your ex-spouse. Consider making a budget to accommodate any new expenses you’ve acquired after the divorce, like rent or a mortgage.
- Revise your insurance and retirement accounts: Take a close look at your accounts and make sure you make any necessary updates. For example, you may have had your ex-spouse listed as your beneficiary, but now you’ll probably want to name your children or another close relation as a beneficiary.
- Review your health insurance coverage: Changing health insurance plans can be tricky, especially if you were on your spouse’s policy before your divorce. Make sure you have no gaps in coverage and review the new conditions of your health insurance plan. If necessary, change your emergency medical contact to someone other than your ex-spouse.
These are general strategies applicable to most new divorcees, but speaking with your attorney about a plan of action particular to your situation will provide you with more specific guidance. Contact McKinley Irvin if you would like to consult with an experienced family law attorney.