What Comes After Your Divorce, Part Two (the boring stuff)

March 19, 2024

Disclaimer: This blog post provides general information and is not intended as legal advice. Consult a qualified attorney for guidance specific to your situation.


The finalization of a divorce marks a significant legal milestone, but the practical process of untangling your lives and rebuilding your individual identity is far from over. In addition to the emotional hurdles, there are numerous post-divorce tasks that require your attention to ensure a clean break and establish your financial independence.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the most crucial steps you’ll need to navigate. This list is not meant to be complete, and you should refer to your documents to see if there are other things you need to do to comply with deadlines.


The Immediate Checklist:


  • Close Joint Bank Accounts: Dividing any joint bank accounts is vital. Open a new separate bank account and arrange for your income (salary, benefits, etc.) to be deposited there. Once the joint account is empty, work with your financial institution to close it.


  • Handle Your Debt: If you have any joint debts, discuss with your ex-spouse how these will be handled. If possible, it’s simplest to divide existing debts or pay them off fully during the divorce. However, that’s not always feasible. If certain debts remain in your name, contact creditors to alert them of the change in your situation.


  • Utilities in Your Name: Transfer responsibility for all utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet, etc.) into your sole name. Contact your utility providers and inform them of the date you want to take over the accounts. This avoids potential disputes or service disruptions down the line.


  • Refinance or Transfer Ownership: If you have cars in both your names, you need to address these. Options include refinancing the vehicle solely in your name or negotiating with your ex-spouse to transfer ownership.


  • Insurances Policies – Update and Adjust: Thoroughly review all your insurance policies – health, car, homeowners’, or renters’ insurance. Update your beneficiary designations and make any necessary adjustments to your coverage. If you relied on your spouse’s health insurance, you may need to enroll in a new plan.


  • Put a Copy of Your Documents in a Safe Place. you may need to refer to your parenting plan or marital settlement, so put these documents up but in a place where you can find them for future reference.


Protecting Your Future:


  • Estate Planning: Revise your will, trusts, and power of attorney documents as needed. Designate new beneficiaries and ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. If you do not have one, this is a good time to consider getting these documents.


  • Financial Planning: Consider meeting with a financial advisor to reassess your budget, retirement savings, and investments. This can help you establish new goals and manage your finances as a single person.


  • Change Your Name (Optional): If you decide to change your name back to your maiden name or an entirely new name, initiate the process through the appropriate legal channels. This involves updating documents like your driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, voter registration, bank accounts, and credit cards.


The Emotional Aftermath:


It’s important to acknowledge that the period after a divorce can be emotionally taxing. Allow yourself time and space for healing. Seek support from friends, family, a therapist, or a support group if needed. Need ideas of where to start? Check here, here and here


The Benefit of a Flat-Fee Divorce


If you’ve opted for a flat-fee divorce, you’ve already taken a significant step in simplifying the process and mitigating financial burdens. At Flat Fee Divorce Solutions, I understand the challenges of navigating divorce, and I am here to assist you in achieving a smooth transition. The additional benefit is that I can help with your uncontested divorce for a lot less than you might fear.


Remember: One Step at a Time

The list may seem daunting, but tackling these tasks systematically is key. Take it one step at a time, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Remember, with a proactive approach, you can establish a strong foundation for your future.


Navigating your post-divorce life is complex. Contact me to help you get ready to tackle that to-do list in an affordable manner. Reach out or call me to see if I can help you with your uncontested, collaborative or negotiated divorce.