Ending a marriage is often one of the most stressful events a person will experience. When a divorce becomes final, it is tempting to think that everything is over, but some aspects have just begun. Having a post-divorce financial checklist can help you stay on track and reduce the stress of preparing for your post-divorce life.
It is important to recognize that you will most likely still need the help of your attorney and financial advisor to complete the settlement you and your ex-spouse have agreed upon. Attorneys from both sides should work out who will take what action to execute the settlement plan so that the proceeds can be divided. A timetable for accomplishing the steps of the plan is necessary to avoid any acrimony over how long it takes to carry out the final stage of the divorce.
The benefits of a written action plan are twofold:
- There can be no ambiguities or misunderstandings about how the settlement is to be carried out.
- If your ex-spouse defaults on his or her obligations, you can file to have him or her held in contempt of court. If a judge determines that your ex-spouse had the ability to comply with the terms of your settlement, but chose not to, they may be held in contempt of court and pay restitution. In some cases, they will also have to pay your attorney’s fees.
There are many other things a divorcee will have to take care of, including:
- Amending your will and other estate documents if you do not wish your ex-spouse to inherit from you in the event of your death.
- Changing beneficiary designations on insurance policies, pensions, trusts, annuities, retirement accounts, and where your ex-spouse was listed as your beneficiary.
- Refinancing the marital home so that only your name is on the mortgage.
- Canceling any joint credit cards and setting up your own, if necessary, to establish your own credit history.
- Applying for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) benefits, if necessary, and researching health insurance policies for when your COBRA coverage runs out.
- Arranging how spousal/child support will be paid. Automatic transfer is the safest way of ensuring that alimony and support payments are made.
- Developing a new spending budget as your post-divorce spending will likely be different from what you were used to.
- Finding expert financial advice for splitting retirement plans equitably, if this was not included in your settlement. Administrative fees and tax consequences can vary widely.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients with Financial Matters During and After Divorce
If you have legal questions about your divorce, turn to the dedicated Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC who have the knowledge and experience to resolve your legal issues as quickly and reasonably as possible. Call us today at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. An initial consultation is free and confidential. We have offices in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland, serving clients throughout the state.