How to Plan After a Divorce

“To avoid post-divorce financial trouble, I recommend that you and your ex, through your attorneys, create an action plan setting forth what steps you will each take, and by when, to enact your settlement agreement.”

Check-list-1150080-640x745Negotiating a divorce settlement can be a real chore. In addition, with a contentious, financially-complex divorce, the process can take months or even years.

Forbes recently published an article, “A Checklist To Help You Manage Post-Divorce Finances.” According to the article, many women are disappointed to learn that all their divorce-related financial troubles aren’t neatly resolved, when their ex signs the settlement documents.

 It is true that your agreement will say exactly what must be divided and how much goes to whom.  However, you’ll need to work through the practical details of how the agreement is implemented.

Some of the post-divorce financial matters you’ll face, like changing your name, address, and emergency contact, are simple enough. You only need a copy of your divorce decree.  However, other issues can be more complex and serious.

If you haven’t done so already, you should take care of the following:

  • Watch your credit and cancel any joint credit cards. You should establish credit in your name alone;
  • Disinherit your ex. See your estate planning attorney to make changes to legal documents;
  • Change beneficiary designations on your insurance policies, retirement accounts, pensions, trusts, and annuities;
  • Sell or refinance the marital home. You may agree to sell it, with the proceeds divided between you, or if you are keeping the home, refinance the mortgage in your name alone.

To avoid post-divorce financial trouble, you and your ex, through your attorneys, should draft an action plan that details what steps you will each take with deadlines to enact your settlement agreement.

Reference: Forbes (February 12, 2018) “A Checklist To Help You Manage Post-Divorce Finances”