You’ve made it through your divorce, and have finally received a divorce judgment after many months–or perhaps even years–of back-and-forth with your former spouse. Now’s the time to breathe easy, relax, and rejoice that the process has come to a close. Before you get too comfortable with your new legal status as single, though, make sure you’re prepared to handle what comes after a divorce is finalized.
1. Split Assets
One of the first things that you’ll need to do after a divorce is split assets per the terms of your court order. This might mean selling a home, transferring the name on a deed or title, dividing retirement accounts, selling assets and splitting the cash, etc. If you’re unsure how to divide assets in a way that is in accordance with your divorce judgment, be sure to reach out to a professional for guidance.
2. Divide Debts
Splitting your assets isn’t the only thing you’ll need to worry about – you’ll also need to divide debts. Again, this should be done per the terms of your divorce decree. However, remember that just because your ex-spouse is ordered to pay a debt that has your name on it doesn’t mean they’re going to and, if they don’t, creditors may come knocking on your door. If your spouse doesn’t follow the court’s orders regarding making debt payments, be sure to take action.
3. Adhere to Custody Arrangement (and Prep Kids’ Stuff)
Adhering to a custody arrangement is important – if you fail to do so, you could face penalties. Start the post-divorce process off right by working with your spouse to coordinate transferring kids’ personal items to a new home as needed. If there are any unanswered questions about how children will be transported to and fro’ or where kids will stay and when, making a plan together should be a top priority.
4. Cancel Joint Accounts, Update Insurance, and Create a New Estate Plan
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to:
- Cancel any joint accounts and make sure that your name is the only one on credit cards, bank accounts, etc.;
- Update your insurance – you may qualify for COBRA after divorce, or may be eligible to join another plan; and
- Create a new estate plan – updating an estate plan is something that many people forget to do after a divorce. Chances are you’ll want to update the executor of your estate and your beneficiaries.
Reach Out to a Qualified Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer for Help Along the Way
Filing for a divorce and navigating the divorce process can be complex, and things don’t always get easier as soon as the divorce is finalized. To provide you with guidance and legal support every step of the way, reach out to the office of Heather Ward Law today. Attorney Heather M. Ward has experience representing clients of various backgrounds and interests in divorce cases, and is happy to sit down with you to discuss your case today. Call today at 617-903-8955 or send our law firm a message online.