Divorce separation and property agreements What to Do After a Divorce is Final A Checklist

What to Do After a Divorce is Final A Checklist

When people get married, part of the vows is “til death do us part.” Anyone who embarks on marriage intends to fulfill this promise. This is a person you adore so much that you’ve decided to partner with through good times and bad, make a home with, and perhaps have children with. The two of you are bonded, knowing the good, the bad, and the ugliest of the ugly.

You know each other’s likes and dislikes, finances are shared, chores are split, and concessions are made. Nobody says “I do,” thinking they’ll ever say “I don’t.” Unfortunately, many people realize that marriage is not for them, at least the one they’re in. Approximately 43% of unions end in divorce. The reasons vary from complex issues like cheating and substance use to simply growing apart or the need for independence.

Though you may be relieved by the dissolution of your marriage, it’s not a particularly happy time. Anxiety and stress are likely to run high, and there may be feelings of failure, guilt, sadness, fear, and confusion. Even though you probably thought through the decision to divorce, once it’s final, a lot needs to be done.

You’ll need to consider finances, housing, division of property, and ensuring you take care of yourself. It can be confusing and scary to think about what comes next after divorce. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the most critical things you need to handle after your divorce is final.

1. Research Some Reputable Attorneys

Your search for reputable lawyers should begin before divorce proceedings begin. Lawyers are plentiful, but this is not a service you want to choose from surfing the net. Ask family and friends who may have been where you are now. It’s vital to hire an experienced divorce attorney, especially if you have children or assets.

Don’t be afraid to meet with several family lawyers to discuss the specifics of your case. Remember, they are trying to get your business, so don’t be scared to ask questions about their experience. Inquire about their experience with cases like yours, how many cases they’ve won, and ask for an honest assessment of your case.

A good lawyer will not make any promises or give specific numbers regarding child support or alimony at your initial consultation. The most important thing when choosing a lawyer is that you trust and feel comfortable with them. A divorce is very personal and emotional, so your lawyer should be great at the law while being supportive, understanding, and compassionate.

2. Look Into a New Job

Maybe you’ve been the partner that’s worked to keep the house and kids in order. Maybe finances allow for you only to need to work part-time. Perhaps you must make more money now that you’re alone. Whatever the case, many people need to look for a new job after a divorce. It can be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while.

Don’t let it get you down. Instead, embrace it as an exciting new adventure. It’s an opportunity to make money and contribute to society, meet new people, and make new friends. Start by assessing your needs and your skills. Decide what you can realistically do and what you want a new job to look like. Join online networking and job search sites like LinkedIn and Indeed to get your name out there.

Consider working with a recruitment agency; they often offer a more personalized approach to helping you find a job. Ask around to family, friends, and neighbors about possible openings at their workplace. Be sure to update your resume and have a few sample cover letters on hand. Attend job fairs and networking events in your community. You may even consider taking a course or two to update your computer and communication skills.

3. Remove Waste From Your Marriage

You’ve probably heard the saying, “out with the old and in with the new.” On the surface, it may sound cold, but getting rid of useless stuff you accumulated during your marriage can be healthy. It helps you move on emotionally and makes room for your new life. This doesn’t need to be sad or vindictive; it can be fun and cathartic.

Before throwing anything away, ask your former spouse if they want anything. Even if you’re not on the best terms, it’s the right thing to do, especially if items were bought together. They may want some items for sentimental reasons as well. Things like photos, holiday ornaments, and kids’ artwork should be divided equally.

Once that’s done, start going room by room and get rid of anything that is weighing you down, either mentally or physically. Anything your spouse left behind, go ahead and toss. If there are things they bought that you’ve always hated, like that mounted singing fish or that pile of afghans they hoarded on the couch – know your chance to dump them. If you find you have a lot to get rid of, contact your local waste management company for help. They can provide a dumpster or waste container to fit the job.

4. Hire a Lawyer to Assist With a New Home

Once you’ve cleaned the house and looked around, you may decide you don’t want to be there anymore. Perhaps you’re like many other divorced couples and decided to sell your home as part of the settlement. Whatever your case, you may look for a new home after your divorce. While searching for a new home can be fun and exciting, it can also be complicated.

Sometimes, after a divorce, finances and credit scores can be impacted. Other times, the divorce may have been contentious and hostile. For these reasons and others, you need to consider hiring a real estate attorney. These lawyers are typically used in home-buying transactions to protect the seller and buyer. But in the case of divorce, a real estate attorney can be beneficial to ensure your investment is protected, and your former spouse can make no claims to the property.

5. Determine if You Have Your Finances in Order

It’s not a secret that divorce can wreak havoc on both parties’ economic status and general finances. First, the divorce process can be expensive. Between lawyer’s fees, court fees, obtaining documents, and mediation, a divorce can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000. Next, if you were a dual-income family, that income has been cut drastically.

Many newly divorced people find they need a total reassessment of their budget. Some see it challenging to get by because of all the debt they accrued during their marriage. It’s not uncommon for divorced people to consult with bankruptcy attorneys to explore their options. But some careful planning can help you avoid that prospect.

Have an honest internal conversation about your lifestyle and the changes that need to be made. Sit down and sketch out a budget. Some luxuries may need to go – at least for now. Consider taking a second job or finding gig work to help make ends meet. If you’ve got extra space in your home, consider a roommate to help offset costs. Consider moving in with a family member or friend until you’re back on your feet. There’s Al, or you can do to compensate for that lost income; stay honest and flexible.

6. Purchase New Items for Your New Home

Now that you’ve gotten rid of some old stuff from your marriage and realized your finances are in pretty good shape, it’s time for the fun part – shopping! Chances are you had to part with some needed items when you split up and divided your communal property. So there should be no guilt in allowing yourself the luxury of shopping. Just be aware of your budget.

You may need a new coffee pot, dishware, or television, so shop for some deals. Maybe you left the furniture with your spouse and will require a new couch and bedroom furniture. You may even need random items like clothes hangers, storage baskets, and custom-made window shades for apartments.

Here’s a pro tip: visit dollar stores before anything else. You’ll be surprised at how many needed and helpful household items you can find. Dollar stores often have decent-quality kitchen supplies, storage bins, glassware, decorative items, and cleaning supplies. It’s a great starting point if you are left with nothing and need to start over.

7. Regularly Visit Your Doctor

Self-care tends to go out the window in the time leading up to and during a divorce. We’re too caught up in the turmoil, stress, and logistics to worry about our health and well-being. Ironically, this is when we should monitor our health and take care of ourselves the most. So, after the discovery is final, commit yourself to caring for yourself.

Make an appointment with your doctor for a complete exam. They will check your blood pressure, weight, heart, and other vital organs. Depending on their initial findings, they may order diagnostic tests to pinpoint the reason for specific symptoms or irregularities.

You can discuss any issues you’re having, and they can suggest appropriate treatments. You must keep regular appointments with them to ensure you’re in good health. While you’re at it, make an appointment with your dentist, gynecologist (if that applies), and maybe even a chiropractor for a reasonable, stress-relieving adjustment.

8. Discuss if You Need to Lose Weight

Divorce is stressful, and stress can cause weight gain. It can happen to anyone, so don’t feel bad. If you feel like you’re out on some pounds, talk with your doctor to see how much you should lose. They can give you an estimate based on your height, age, and body type.

Your doctor can also recommend the best action to take to lose weight. In most cases, it’s a specific diet combined with exercise. However, sometimes they may suggest another doctor who specializes in weight loss or a professional weight loss clinic.

9. Meet Your Friends Once in A While

Of all the things you do after a divorce, getting together with friends can be one of the best for your mental and spiritual health. Just the simple fact of going to a sports bar and grill with your pals can lift your spirits. If you’re not in the mood for crowds, grab some coffee and sit in the park or go for a hike.

Consider hosting a girl’s or guys’ night, cooking, watching movies, or inviting them for a good old-fashioned sleepover. Ask a friend to join a gym with you so you can socialize and get in shape at the same time. If you feel the need to make some new friends who can relate to what you’re going through, consider a support group.

Many communities also gave get-togethers for the newly single to meet and mingle. It doesn’t matter what you do; it is essential not to isolate yourself from the people who can offer support and live during a difficult time. Plus, you deserve to have fun after all you’ve been through!

10. Install Solar Panels

Now that you’re divorced and probably looking to save money, consider installing solar panels on your home. Though the initial installation costs can be high, in the long run, you will save a lot of money. The average home saves about $1500 a year on energy costs. Throughout the panel’s lifespan (20 to 30 years), you will likely save $25,000 to $30,000.

That’s huge savings that can be used to take the vacation you’ve always dreamed of or pay for a portion of your children’s education. Solar panels are also environmentally friendly, so you do your part for the Earth. Many solar companies and states have special offers and programs that make purchasing and installing solar panels quite affordable, so it’s worth looking into.

Even if your divorce is amicable, it can still be a time of sorrow and loss. Feeling this way is standard; a vast chapter of your life has closed. However, working on building a new chapter can help take your mind off it. So turn the page and get to work!

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