Tying Up Loose Ends After Divorce
Divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. After you submit your completed marital settlement agreement to the judge or, in the case of acrimonious divorces, after a judge issues a decision about division of marital assets and debts, it is easy to feel like you are about to cross the finish line. As every divorced co-parent knows, however, a new phase of stress in dealing with your ex is just beginning, now that you are officially exes. Even if you and your ex-spouse do not have minor children together, you still have a lot of work to do, after your divorce becomes final, to disentangle yourself financially from your ex-spouse. A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can continue to follow up with you after your divorce becomes final, helping you to avoid mistakes and legal problems that could lead to you having to face your ex-spouse in court again.
Turning Your Divorce Judgment Into a To-Do List
How carefully have you actually read your divorce judgment? You saw your name and the phrase “legally single” or something to that effect, and that was all that mattered. You were too busy calling your family and friends to tell them the good news, while your favorite song that your ex always hated blasted on the stereo in the background, to read all those pages of legal jargon.
It is worthwhile to read your divorce decree in detail, however, so that you can turn your divorce decree into an actionable to-do list. The provisions of the decree list not only which spouse gets which assets and which debts, but also a list of tasks that each former spouse must do to accomplish this division of property. You may find that you have a solid few weeks, if not a few months, of errands and phone calls before your finances are completely separate from your ex-spouse’s. The tasks may range from slightly annoying, like applying for COBRA insurance, or absolutely nerve-wracking, like applying to refinance your mortgage.
Managing Your Finances as a Newly Single Person
Whether you and your ex-spouse were successful in handling your finances as a team during your marriage or whether money and bills were a constant source of conflict and frustration, it is going to take some adjustment to handle your finances as a single person again. Setting up automatic payments on your household bills and your newly refinanced mortgage is the easy part. Chances are, you will also need to find a new tax accountant and a new estate planning lawyer instead of sticking with the ones you and your ex-spouse worked with together. If you expect your ex-spouse to flake on child support payments or to request a downward modification, you should create two versions of your budget, one where the support payments arrive on time and another where they don’t.
Contact Schwartz | White About Finding Your Stride After Divorce
A South Florida family law attorney can help you manage all the annoying tasks you need to accomplish in order to begin to enjoy your financial independence from your ex-spouse. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.