Navigating Life After Divorce

March 6, 2023

Getting divorced is a major life change, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here’s a checklist of practical things to do once it’s final, so you can start building your new life after divorce

Life After Divorce:

1. Manage Your Insurance

  • Health Insurance: If you were on your ex-spouse’s plan, you’ll need to get your own coverage ASAP. Explore options like employer-based plans or the Healthcare Marketplace.
  • Other Insurance: Update your home/renters, life, and car insurance. Remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary and adjust coverage amounts if needed.

2. Adjust Your Tax Withholding

  • Talk to your employer about changing your withholding status (no longer “married filing jointly”). This helps avoid surprises at tax time.
  • If the situation is complex (children, large income changes), consult a tax pro for the best deductions and credits.

3. Update Your Work Info

  • Let your employer know about any changes: name, address, emergency contacts, etc.
  • Review your 401(k), beneficiaries on accounts, and any court orders about child support or alimony.

4. Protect Your Future with Legal Documents

  • Powers of Attorney: Designate people you trust to make medical or financial decisions if you can’t. Essential after divorce!
  • Update Your Will: Make sure your assets and insurance go to the right people (children, family, etc.). Your divorce alone may prevent your ex from getting anything if you die, but you have to decide who will

5. Handle Shared Accounts

  • Close any joint credit cards or accounts you shared with your ex.
  • Update utility bills and other accounts to reflect your name and contact information only.

6. Organize Important Papers

  • Keep your Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage ( your divorce decree), financial records, and updated legal documents in a safe place.

7. Allow Yourself Time to Process

  • Divorce is emotional. Celebrate your fresh start or take time to grieve – both are normal. If you feel stuck, seek support from a counselor or support group.

If you want to be making these changes for yourself in the next few months, reach out to my office. I am here to help metro-east families turn their agreements into their divorce and help them do it quickly and efficiently. I am just a call or click away.