After a long and arduous journey, you have finally reached the end of your divorce process. You may be feeling a sense of relief, or perhaps even elation – but what comes next? This comprehensive guide will answer all of your questions about the post-divorce checklist, from finances to child custody. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
After your divorce is finalized, make a list of everything you’ll need to accomplish
The first item on your post-divorce checklist should be to make a list of everything you need to accomplish. There are so many things that must be done after a divorce that it’s easy for them all to get piled up on top of each other, making it increasingly difficult than ever before.
Once you have your list, you can start to prioritize and tackle them one at a time.
Some of the items on your post-divorce checklist may include:
- Change your name on important documents
- Notify friends, family, and colleagues of your change in marital status
- Transfer assets and debts between spouses
- Close joint bank accounts
- File for divorce decree changes with the court or government agency that oversees marriage licenses
- Update insurance policies
- End leases or terminate memberships with organizations you shared with your spouse
- Alert creditors of your new status and work out a payment plan if necessary
- Submit an updated tax return reflecting your new marital status etc.
Change Your Passwords
Changing your passwords is an important step in protecting yourself after a divorce. If you have shared passwords with your ex before, now is the time to change them. Don’t just update one or two and leave others untouched. Take this opportunity to ensure that there are no backdoors into your accounts that could be used by your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Make sure to create strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and don’t use common words or phrases. You may also want to consider using a password manager to keep track of all your different passwords. This will make it easier for you to change them all if necessary.
Finally, be sure not to use the same password for multiple accounts. This will help ensure that if one account gets compromised, others won’t be affected as well.
You should change passwords on a regular basis, such as once every six months or so. If you find yourself struggling with remembering complex combinations of letters and numbers, try using a mnemonic phrase to help you remember.
Who Is In Charge? The Possession of Homes, Estates, and Titles
The issue of who is in charge after a divorce can be a complicated one. In most cases, the couple will work together to decide what happens to the home and any other jointly-owned property. If they are unable to agree, the court will make a decision based on what it believes is fair for both parties.
In some cases, one spouse may be awarded ownership of the home or another property while the other spouse is given cash instead. This usually happens when one spouse cannot afford to keep up with mortgage payments or other costs associated with owning the property. If this is your situation, it’s important to speak with an attorney about your legal rights and options.
When it comes to assets like cars and bank accounts, the court will typically award them to the spouse who is deemed to need them more. This could be based on factors such as age, health, and income. If you’re worried about what will happen to your assets after divorce, it’s important to speak with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
Change Your Last Name
If you want to change your last name after divorce, you must start the process as soon as possible. Most women who decide to keep their maiden names after divorce don’t need to do anything special because they were never asked by the judge or court clerk if they wanted to change their surnames during proceedings. The same is true for men and women whose marriages ended in annulment or legal separation. If this is not your case, then make sure you inform the Social Security Administration about your new surname so that your identification cards reflect it properly. Changing a child’s surname requires permission from both parents unless there are serious reasons why one parent cannot give consent – like abandonment or prolonged absence from home without providing support for the child.
You will also need to change your name on your driver’s license, voter registration card, and passport. If you have any other forms of identification with your old name, be sure to update them as well. The process of updating all these documents can be time-consuming, so start early and give yourself plenty of time to get it done. You may also want to consider changing your bank account and credit cards under your new name. Check with the companies that offer these services to find out what their specific requirements are.
Changing your name is just one of the many things you must do after divorce. Make sure you take care of the others too so that you can move on with your life as smoothly as possible.
If you don’t have health insurance, this is the time to get it
Your health should be a top priority after your divorce. If you don’t have insurance, now is the time to get it. Look into individual or family plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplace at healthcare.gov. You may also be able to get coverage through an employer, Medicaid, or Medicare.
If you’re not sure where to start, talk to a trusted friend or family member about their health insurance plan. They can give you advice on what plan might work best for you and how to sign up.
Whatever route you choose, make sure that you are covered by some type of health insurance plan as soon as possible. A serious illness or injury could put a major dent in your finances if you’re not prepared.
Make a budget for your post-divorce days
After your divorce, one of the most essential tasks is to get a handle on your finances. Begin by making a budget that lists out your monthly expenses and earnings. This will help you stay aware of how much money comes in and goes out each month, allowing you to avoid any unpleasant financial surprises down the road.
To get started on your post-divorce budget:
- Gather all of your bills and receipts from the previous month. This will help give an accurate account of what is coming out of your bank each month. Arrange them by frequency (monthly, bi-weekly or quarterly), then add up how much money goes toward each bill every year so that you can estimate how much they’ll cost for next year as well.
- Create a separate section in your budget for monthly income, savings, and bills. You can create this on a piece of paper or use an online tool like Mint.com to help you track spending habits over time. The key is that you want both sides divided so it’s easy to see what money will come out next month versus where funds should go first when there’s not enough cash left at the end of each paycheck period (like paying off debts before saving).
- If you have children, it’s important to factor in child support and/or alimony payments when creating your budget. You’ll also want to account for any other monthly expenses associated with raising kids like daycare, groceries, and entertainment.
The most vital element of creating a post-divorce budget is to be realistic about your earnings and expenses. Don’t forget to include one-time expenses like retaining an attorney or purchasing new furnishings during the divorce process. And if you find yourself consistently overspending each month, try tweaking your budget by cutting back on nonessential items like dining out or cable TV subscriptions.
Co-Parenting: There’s an App for that!
Establishing a co-parenting relationship with your ex is one of the most crucial activities you will undertake after divorce. This can be difficult, but there are tools out there that can help make it easier. One such tool is an app called “Our Family Wizard” (OFW). OFW allows you and your ex to communicate about parenting tasks, schedules, and payments. It also provides a shared calendar where you can both see upcoming events and appointments. You can even use OFW to track expenses related to child care.
Another great tool for co-parenting is “Coparently”. Coparently helps parents share photos, updates, and messages about their children. It also has a built in calendar so you can keep track of your children’s schedules.
Finally, if you have a smartphone consider using the “We Parent App” to communicate with your ex-spouse and co-parenting partner. We Parent has an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple for both parents (and even grandparents or other family members) to keep up with what the kids are doing at school and after extracurricular activities like sports or music lessons. It also helps ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes time to make decisions about things like medical treatment options for their child(ren). You can send messages directly from within this app as well so there isn’t any need for back-and-forth emails between multiple people involved in the child’s life.
Having a co-parenting relationship with your ex can be difficult, but using one or more of these tools can make it much easier. Establishing and maintaining communication is key to making sure your children have a smooth transition into their post-divorce lives.
Protect Your Credit After Divorce
Financial issues are one of the leading causes of divorce. This is why it’s important to separate your finances from each other to protect yourself from getting into debt after divorce. If you have been using joint credit cards or bank accounts with your spouse, close them as soon as possible so that they will no longer be able to access your money without first obtaining a court order allowing them access again (which may take two weeks). Protecting yourself financially means taking steps like these:
* Keep track of all your expenses and income. To keep yourself out of debt, you’ll need a budget. Be sure that you have one! It may seem like common sense but if you don’t have any idea how much money is coming in or going out each month then it might be time for some financial planning on paper before deciding where things go from here with a post-divorce checklist.
* Do not share credit cards – especially those which are linked together as joint accounts (such as American Express). If possible get new individual ones just for use during this period so there won’t ever be any confusion about who owes what when payments come due next month; also make copies of current statements from any credit cards, bank accounts, and other assets you have so you can keep track of your spending.
* Cooperate when it comes to dividing bills, debts, and assets – agreeing will make the process much smoother; again, having all the paperwork in order will help avoid any potential legal battles down the road.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading all this (understandably) then take a step back and remember that getting through a divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. You will get through this but it’s going to require some effort on your part.
Split your retirement accounts and pensions
If you and your former spouse were married for more than a decade, there’s a good chance that your retirement accounts are among the most valuable of all marital assets.
When it comes to divorcing couples who have settled their divorce without going to court, splitting these accounts is usually one of the final steps in the process. Because retirees often need access to these funds before they reach age 59, when early withdrawal penalties no longer apply, coming up with an equitable split can be difficult. However, several other strategies might make agreeing on how to divide this asset easier:
- Use what’s known as a Rule 72(t) distribution plan (named after Section 72(t) of the Internal Revenue Code), which allows you and your spouse to withdraw money from a retirement account before reaching age 59½ without facing an early withdrawal penalty. To qualify, you and your former spouse must agree on the terms of how this distribution will be structured during divorce negotiations.
- Use another type of plan known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which allows you and your ex-spouse to divide up ownership rights in a retirement plan so that each party can access their portion at any time without having to wait until age 59½. A QDRO is usually paid out over a specific period or when certain conditions are met, such as reaching age 65 or retiring from the workforce. Most people use QDROs for splitting pensions rather than 401(k) plans because pensions are easier to divide.
- If you have a 401(k) account, your spouse may be able to keep the account and roll it over into their name without penalty. This option is not available if you have a pension plan.
Once the accounts have been divided, make sure you take steps to update your beneficiary designations on each account as well. If these aren’t updated, your former spouse could end up inheriting these assets even after the divorce has been finalized.
Make sure your estate plan is up to date, as well as any beneficiary designations.
You should have a living trust that specifies who will become the guardian of your children in the event both parents die. Update wills if necessary as well. It is important to note that any estate plan drafted before divorce may still be considered valid after divorce unless some specific language has been included in the decree stating otherwise. Talk with an attorney if you’re unsure whether these documents need updating while they await signature and filing by both parties, but do not delay too long because once signed it must go through probate court proceedings which can take months at best case scenario.
Set up automatic payments for your support
Support payments are one of the most common financial obligations after divorce. Even if you have an agreement to pay cash, it’s still a good idea to set up automatic support payment withdrawals for your ex-spouse. That way, there is no risk that you will forget about them or be late in paying – which can lead to severe consequences like jail time and other penalties. If both parties do not agree on this method then they should at least consider using some sort of tracking system such as Google Calendar reminders or Trello board management tool so both sides know what has been done and when things need attention next month/week/day etc. In any case, follow through with whatever plan was made between yourselves even though sometimes it might seem unfair because it’s easy to fall behind on payments due to the stress of life after divorce.
If you decide not to set up automatic payments from your account, then both parties must agree on an alternative method for making spousal support payments. This could be a personal cheque or money order sent by mail (if there is still time left before the court date) which does require some effort but at least avoids late fees since those will accrue if the bill isn’t paid in full each month; otherwise, cash transfer might work better depending how much needs transferring regularly because credit card transactions tend cost more than direct deposits with banks due to higher rates they charge merchants while also taking their cut off top when processing payment through merchant service providers such as Square, PayPal Here and others like them.
Whichever payment option you choose just make sure both parties are aware of it, stick to the agreed schedule as closely as possible and take appropriate steps if ever something changes preventing timely transfer (e.g., job loss/reduced hours work; unexpected bills come in the mail, etc). Doing all this will help ensure smooth sailing during what can be a very turbulent time post-divorce!
Divorce is always difficult, but it’s especially hard when you’re also dealing with the financial side of things. The article can help make your post-divorce life a little easier by laying out some specific steps you should take (and not take) after divorce. By following these tips and tricks for what to do after divorce, you’ll be able to navigate this emotional roller coaster more effectively!