Steps to Take After Divorce
You and your spouse have filed for divorce. You have settled outside of court and agreed on all the major issues. The final decree has been signed. You are officially divorced. The question now is “What happens next?”
Now that the stressful part of divorcing is out of the way, you may not know what to do next. Is there more paperwork to fill out? Do you have to keep seeing your lawyer? Should you start dating again?
These are all valid questions. After all, everyone moves on from such a stressful event at their own pace. For example, if your marriage had been going downhill for a while, you may be more than ready to jump back into the dating pool. On the other hand, if you are dealing with young children and working full-time, you may be too exhausted to even consider a relationship at this time.
While there’s no exact path you should take following a divorce, there are some essential steps you should take. Prepare for the final divorce decree with these tips.
Surviving a divorce is not easy. In fact, it’s probably the most stressful thing you have dealt with so far. So once that final decree has been signed, the first thing you should do is celebrate. Pop open the champagne, take a long bath, splurge on a massage or grab some ice cream and watch some TV. Do something you enjoy or have been putting off for a while. You deserve it.
Communicate With the Kids
If you have children, be sure to keep talking to them about the changes to come. Remind them that while you and the other parent will no longer be living together, you are still a family. Prepare them for changes to their schedules. Allow kids to express their feelings and vent their frustrations. Let teachers know about the divorce and upcoming changes so they can be prepared.
Meet With Your Lawyer
It’s a good idea to have a post-divorce meeting with your lawyer to ensure things are going smoothly and anticipate possible issues. Understand how the process works in terms of child support and custody in case you need to make changes down the road.
Take Care of Your Finances
Things are going to change for you financially after a divorce. If both you and your spouse were working, your two-income family is going to change to a single-income household. Even though you may be receiving child support and/or alimony from your ex-spouse, you’ll still want to make changes to your budget. Take stock of your income and expenses and make changes accordingly. Downsize if you need to. Update your bank and retirement accounts. Close joint credit cards. Make sure titles on the house, cars and other assets are updated. Check your credit report.
Seek Legal Help
Now that your divorce is finalized, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Whether you have questions about finances, dating, raising children or relocating, your legal team can get you on the right track.