Now that I’m Divorced…

For most people separation and/or divorce bring emotional issues that often take time and assistance before they are resolved.  In addition to these emotional issues, everyone who is legally separated and then divorced must face practical day to day changes in order to carry on his/her new post-divorce life.  For many these are new and unique experiences they have never encountered.  Here are some of the major issues facing you as you move on by yourself.

Living Alone

Unless you are in a relationship or have custody of your children, you will find yourself living alone in a home or apartment.  Although at times when married you welcomed some private, quiet time, you will have to learn to adapt to long periods with your TV or Kindle, and cooking and eating alone.  You may also need to develop different relationships with those who you had been friends with when you were married.

Changing Accounts

Even if you decide to retain your married name, there are other changes you will need to make.  If ownership of a motor vehicle needs to be updated, you will have the unique experience of visiting your County’s Department of Motor Vehicles.  Many people have never been to Motor Vehicles, always relying instead on their former “better half” to do the leg work of vehicle registration, transfer of ownership and other legal matters associated with motor vehicles.

You’ll want to change your joint bank accounts and transfer any money due to you to your own individual bank account.  You will want to do the same thing with joint credit cards. Cancel the joint accounts and apply for one in your own name.  If you did not address the beneficiary of your life insurance policy during mediation or litigation, you should decide whether you want to retain or change him/her/them.  If you received a cash settlement from your spouse’s retirement account, or as a result of your equity in marital property, make an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss the best use of these new financial assets.  If you were covered by your spouse’s health insurance, you’ll need to obtain your own provider once you are divorced.  If you have a will, make sure you make the necessary adjustments. If you do not have one, make an appointment to have one prepared for you!

Changes Around The House

Change the locks. Make sure the monthly bills (TV, electricity, fuel, mortgage, cell phone, insurance, to name a few) are in  your name and no longer his/her or joint.  You will need to replace the furniture/appliances that you left behind or agreed to give to your former spouse.  You will also want to contact those who provide services; e.g., the plumber, electrician, gardener, attorney, mediator, etc., and let them know you are now in-charge and will be calling on them for their services when needed.  Get your own email account and change the password.

Children

If you are a parent of minor children you will have to get use to parenting as a single parent.  It will mean accepting and honoring scheduled times to be with your children. You will either be parenting your children alone, or you will be alone while the children are with their other parent.  Single parenting will take time to get used to and will require cooperation and flexibility from both parents and children.

There are probably more areas that need to be addressed.  However, this will get you started.  Don’t be fearful of the unknown.  It’s your new life and you want to make it as comfortable as possible.  Getting your post-divorce in order will assist you in reaching this goal.

Contact Jerry to see if he can help you with preparing for divorce and what comes after.