Steps to take after moving forward with a divorce

Steps to take after moving forward with a divorce

30679756_S.jpgSpringfield residents who are preparing to divorce will frequently have a difficult time dealing with such an emotional time. The last thing on their minds are the various ramifications of a divorce if they do not take certain steps and precautions. However, it is important to remember these issues. This is particularly wise at the start of the new year, as research has shown that many people file for divorce in January.

Finances and control are common factors in a divorce. Once the decision to divorce is made, if there are powers of attorney or other health care documents, these should be changed. Whether it is a contentious parting or an amicable one, the former spouse should not be able to make life and death decisions. Many couples have joint financial accounts. It is advisable to close these accounts and establish separate ones. Debts should be cleared as much as possible and any recurring costs need to be changed to the new account. If there are joint credit cards, they should be closed. This will avoid future problems of being responsible for debts accrued during the marriage or after the divorce proceedings began.

If a couple has investments that they are involved in together, dividing them means that they should be checked based on the individual goals and desires from those investments. Cash flow might not have been a concern during the marriage, but as the spouses come to grips with living separately, they need to allocate their finances accordingly to retain a home and make other payments. It could be necessary to sell certain properties. For couples with an estate plan, this will need to be altered. It is not limited to taking a former spouse off the document as a beneficiary. Such divorce legal issues as the children and how they are cared for will come to the forefront with the estate plan as well.

Finally, insurance is often a factor. One spouse might have gotten his or her medical coverage from the other. A former spouse’s medical bills could be viewed as the responsibility of both unless the required changes are made. A divorcing couple must pay attention to these matters. For assistance in dealing with every aspect of the end of a marriage, it is imperative to have assistance from an attorney experienced in divorce.

Source:, “It’s January, also known as divorce month. Here’s how to cope,” Kelli B. Grant, Jan. 18, 2017

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