“Now what?” This is a common question that I hear from clients after their divorce is final. Generally, the following is a few things I would encourage people to keep in mind after a divorce:
A Decree of Dissolution of Marriage is a final order; however, there are certain remedies available to a person if changes need to be made. It is imperative that you contact your attorney as soon as you become aware of the need for changes. There are time-sensitive deadlines associated with some of the remedies available to a person and your ability to pursue them may be lost if you do not take action immediately.
If your ex-spouse fails to comply with the orders of the court, there are certain actions you can take to compel compliance. In the event of non-compliance, you should contact your attorney to discuss your options. I would also recommend; however, that you first try and obtain compliance yourself by making a request to your ex-spouse in writing. Taking this first step on your own has the potential to minimize your future legal fees. Additionally, copies of the letters could prove to be useful if you find yourself back in court at a later date.
You should review existing wills, trusts, life insurance, annuities, pension and profit sharing plans, and other types of insuring agreements in which you have named your former spouse as a beneficiary. If you do not want your former spouse to remain a beneficiary upon the policies or plans, then you must change the beneficiary. I would also recommend updating your estate planning.
Getting divorced is a very emotional process. You have not only ended a relationship that you thought would last forever, but you have also likely spent the past several months working through the legal system. If you are still struggling with the emotional aspects of your divorce, make time to meet a friend for coffee or schedule an appointment to speak with a therapist. Remember – dealing with the emotional side of a divorce is just as important as dealing with the business side.