Life after divorce requires a whole lot of adjustment. Both parties need to assess their new situations after divorce and regroup. From the personal to the social to the financial, after-divorce changes are inevitable and must be taken into serious consideration. And let’s not forget the whole new world of parenting after divorce.
Amicable divorces garner the best after-divorce success, but even hostile divorces can bring about civility after divorce if both parties agree that this is a top priority. Divorcees with children have the best chances of getting along after divorce, though that is not to say that it is in any way easy. Seeing eye-to-eye is not usually a strong trait in marriages that end, so it takes incredible effort to work as a team after divorce.
On the personal side, taking care of yourself and taking time to grieve and readjust after divorce is not an option but a necessity. You’ll have feelings to resolve and a number of new roles to take on after divorce and the adjustment period can take some time.
And then there are the after-divorce realities of name changes (if you’re a woman), tax filings, closing and re-opening bank accounts and establishing credit on your own if you haven’t already done so.
Here we have a partial after divorce checklist from DivorceSource.com, giving you an overview for covering most of the bases.
After Divorce (Checklist)
Below are some very common tasks that need to be addressed shortly after being divorced. Please keep in mind that there are many tasks and the ones listed are just few of the more common ones.
- Make sure you have several copies of your Judgment or Decree and Marital Settlement Agreement because you may need them for any transfer of property, accounts, debts, etc.
- Make sure you have filed your “Certificate of Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage” with the Clerk’s Office.
- Make sure you have everything filing with the child support enforcement office.
- Make sure all joint accounts are closed and distributed accordingly.
- If you have joint bank accounts to be closed, make sure there are not any outstanding checks.
- Establish credit with new credit cards or store charge cards.
- If you made any arrangements with any company for automatic withdraw or charge, be sure you contact them prior to closing accounts.
- Make sure all property is distributed properly. If arrangements need to be made for pick-ups or drop-offs, do it as soon as possible, so you do not forget anything.
- If there were automobiles to be transferred, be sure to take care of the title, registration and license plates.
- If there was real estate involved in the Marital Settlement Agreement, be sure to take care of the deed work.
- Make sure that all insurance (health, home, auto and life) is addressed and reviewed.
- Make sure all wills are modified or changed.
- Take care of all name change notifications.
- Keep a journal of all visitation and support payments.
- If your spouse files for bankruptcy contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
This checklist covers practical and necessary after divorce details. However, if there are children involved, there are many other after divorce details to consider as well. For the well-being of the children, you’ll want to keep as amicable a relationship as possible with your ex. While working together after divorce is usually even more difficult than working together before divorce, the style of after divorce co-parenting you settle in on is critical to the well-being of the children.
For instance, living in relatively close proximity to each other after divorce will make it easier on the children while they’re dividing their time between homes. Trying to respect the schedules of all involved is another tricky yet critical feat. There will be enough stress while after divorce emotions are running high. Maintaining some sense of practical cooperation will lighten the inevitable burden.
And respecting schedules is not the only issue of respect after divorce. Some of the non-negotiable after divorce rules for co-parenting are to never speak disrespectfully about your ex in front of the children and to avoid playing good parent/bad parent. Avoiding the rich house/poor house trap after divorce is also a good rule of thumb.
Divorce is difficult on all involved and the attorneys at Revelli & Luzzo in Worcester, Massachusetts, fully understand this. We also understand the needs of the family to feel some sense of cooperation and consistency after divorce. If you’re considering divorce, contact us to help ensure that the proceedings run as smoothly and fairly as possible. Our experience in divorces of all levels of cooperation and/or hostility will put you in very capable hands.