Your life is likely to change after a divorce in Springfield, IL. While many consider divorce an opportunity for a fresh start, other people are overwhelmed by the number of things they must do to start rebuilding their lives. Whether you are nearing the end of your divorce proceedings or have recently completed the dissolution process, you should follow a few best practices that many people overlook after divorce.

Remember the Value of Legal Counsel

If you recently finalized your divorce, do not assume that your interactions with your ex or the family court system are finished. Many people must return to family court after divorce to request changes to their standing family court orders. Others must return to court due to contempt proceedings filed in response to the failure to follow family court orders. Whatever your case may entail, a reliable Springfield, IL, divorce attorney is an invaluable asset to maintain.

An experienced attorney can not only guide you through your divorce proceedings but also provide ongoing support following the finalization of your divorce. For example, whether you need to petition for a modification to a custody agreement, a child support order, or address your co-parent’s bad behavior through the court, your attorney can help. In addition, experienced legal counsel can help you avoid substantial administrative red tape should you ever need to revisit your divorce order.

Review Your Estate Plan

You must review any estate plans you have in place following your divorce. For example, it’s very likely that your ex-spouse is still listed as a primary beneficiary, and you may wish to change this. Additionally, the property division aspect of your divorce may have significantly altered your personal finances, and elements of your estate plan may be moot or require extensive modification. Whatever your case may entail, an estate planning lawyer can help you determine what changes must be made to your plans after the divorce.

It’s important to remember that while you must alter the terms of your will, trust, or other estate planning documents, you must also check beneficiary designations on the individual accounts you control to prevent conflicts. For example, if your life insurance policy says it must go to your children in your estate plan, but you never changed the designation on the policy itself after your divorce, your ex could have a valid legal claim to it in probate. Fortunately, many recently divorced people create entirely new estate plans from scratch, taking their new financial circumstances carefully into account.

Create a New Budget Plan

Your estate plan is not the only financial matter that demands your attention after divorce. Your personal financial situation has likely shifted significantly. Revisiting your finances after divorce can help you feel more in control of your new circumstances and lay the groundwork for better economic health. A financial advisor can provide detailed insights into your financial concerns, potentially uncovering investment options and tax benefits you may be able to claim in your new circumstances.

Maintain Healthy Relationships With Your Children

If you divorced your co-parent and the two of you have young children together, your divorce was likely harder on them than it was on you. Children should know that their parents’ divorce was not their fault and that both their parents are still available to them, just with a different schedule. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, but any parent awarded custody or visitation rights should do their best to help their children through a very difficult time.

Both custodial and noncustodial parents need to refrain from trying to turn their kids against their other parent. When parents weaponize their children against each other, this ultimately leads to irreparable breakdowns in their relationships. Parents must also abide by the terms of their custody agreements, and any violations can have severe consequences.

Understand the Modification Process

Life can present unexpected challenges to anyone, and it’s possible to face events after divorce that materially impact the terms of your divorce order. The modification process enables you to petition for reasonable and necessary changes to your family court order. The process begins with filing a petition with the Springfield, IL, family court explaining the requested change and the reasoning behind the petition. Some petitions may require supporting documentation.

Once the court receives a petition, a judge will review it, and a court hearing will be scheduled if the judge determines the petition is reasonable. All parties involved in the family court order can attend the hearing and speak on the issue. The judge will review the evidence and testimony of the petitioner and consider any contradictory evidence or testimony submitted by the defendant. If approved, a modification can have an immediate effect.

Some of the most common reasons for filing modification petitions include job loss, sudden medical complications, severe injuries, and contempt of court. However, if you have experienced any recent event beyond your control that you believe requires a reasonable change to your standing family court order, an attorney can help you navigate the modification process.

What to Expect From a Springfield, IL, Family Law Attorney

If you have recently finalized a divorce, your attorney may still be a valuable asset if you must revisit your family court order for any reason. Divorced parents are most likely to need to return to family court as their children’s needs change. The right attorney can make all of your interactions with the Illinois family court system much easier to manage. Immediately following your divorce, your attorney can help you understand the terms of your divorce order. Your legal team can also assist you in meeting court filing deadlines and addressing unexpected issues as they arise.

Ultimately, a divorce can pose ongoing challenges in many ways, and reliable legal counsel is an invaluable asset in these challenging situations. If you are preparing for a divorce in Springfield, IL, consult an attorney with the skills and experience you need to handle the most complex aspects of your case. Whether you need advice on your next steps or are ready to make modifications, the right attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.