Most marriages last at least a few years if divorce is in the cards. Most litigants see obtaining the divorce decree as about the final step in that hard process. However, to have the best chance of returning your life to the closest place it was pre-divorce, a great deal of work needs to occur post-divorce.
First, make sure at the time of the divorce, key policies and protections don’t lapse like health insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. Between changes of address and mail rerouting, this is easy and having an uncovered auto accident just makes healing from the divorce that much harder.
Second, think through and make any necessary beneficiary changes, such as on life insurance, pensions, annuities.
Third, obtain your credit report and monitor it for several months until all joint debts are removed and addressed, such as if a mortgage still has to be satisfied by selling a marital home.
Fourth, change titles, bank account addresses, official identification, and voter registration. A simple mistake on a document like this can have unforeseeable consequences.
Fifth, consider a friend or therapist to talk through issues that will and do always arise after divorce, such as self-doubt and depression. Everyone needs someone to share the stressors of life, and depending on your situation this may be a professional such as a psychiatrist or family friend. A key is to find someone who will listen but if your view is skewed help you get back on track.
Sixth, meeting with your accountant or financial planner to discuss your situation for investing, budgeting or as your needs require.
Seventh, keep a certified copy of your divorce decree and settlement indefinitely. This is necessary to change professional licenses, and will come up at various times in the future. And take the time to read your divorce decree and/or settlement carefully to ensure the duties and responsibilities in it have been addressed by you or the attorneys, such as preparation of the QDRO.
This post-divorce checklist will go a long way to helping you ultimately legally unwind the connections to your ex-spouse so that both of you can move on with the best course in life. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who practice domestic cases and handle child custody cases across the state of Indiana. It is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is best thought of as an advertisement.