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Post-Divorce Checklist: 8 Things You MUST DO After Your Divorce is Final

Updated: Feb 7

The papers have been signed. The judgment has been entered. Your divorce is final. The thought of asking your divorce lawyer for a post-divorce checklist never even entered your mind. As far as you’re concerned, you’re done, right?

… not exactly.

Your Divorce May Be Final, But You’re Not Done!

Going through a divorce is exhausting on every level. Once your divorce is finally over, it’s natural to want to put it behind you.

But you can’t truly close the door on your divorce until you’ve tied up all the loose ends that go with it. (… and there are A LOT of loose ends!)

If you’re like most people you still have to divide up all your assets, separate some of your stuff, deal with your debts and start re-establishing your own credit. You have to make sure that everything that your divorce judgment says is supposed to happen actually does happen.

You also need to separate everything related to your kids.

What’s more, you have to set up two separate homes, complete with clothes, toys and personal items for your kids. You also need to establish a new way of communicating with your ex about the kids. (Keeping a family calendar of activities on your refrigerator simply isn’t going to cut it when your kids are going back and forth between two households!)

If you’re lucky, you at least started to separate your stuff and build your own life while your divorce was going on. But, even if you did, there are still a lot of things you couldn’t do until after your divorce was final.

The bottom line is that just because the judge divorced you, that doesn’t mean you are done! Far from it.

So, even though doing more paperwork or continuing to deal with your ex is the last thing you probably want to do, it’s exactly what you have to do. What’s more, just like in your divorce, you need to make sure that you don’t miss anything important AFTER your divorce.

That’s where a good post-Post-Divorce can come in handy.

But, Won’t My Divorce Lawyer Take Care of Everything?

Many people assume that their divorce lawyer will separate everything for them. Or they assume that their assets and debts will somehow just automatically become separate when their divorce is final.

Neither one of those assumptions is true.

Traditional divorce lawyers are focused on getting you divorced. They are usually pretty good at that. They’re good at fighting for you and negotiating for you. But once your divorce is over, they’re pretty much done.

The one thing divorce lawyers will do for you after your divorce is to get the special Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) orders entered that will allow you to divide your retirement accounts.

What your divorce lawyer WON’T do (unless you pay him/her a LOT of money!) is go to your banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies, etc. and fill out all the paperwork that needs to be completed in order to separate what’s yours from what belongs to your ex.

Doing all that is up to you.

That means that you are the one who has to change titles, separate bank accounts, cancel credit cards, and attend to the thousand other picky little details of dividing up your finances. You are the one (if you are a woman and you choose to do so) who has to change your name everywhere.

You are the one who needs to make sure that the entire world knows you are divorced and treats you like a single person from this point forward.

In other words, with or without a post-divorce checklist, you are the one who has to figure all this stuff out. If you’re not sure how to do that, here are the top ten steps you need to follow.