Today, Your Legal Corner will discuss “Moving forward after a divorce.”
Most people have a difficult time dealing with change. Sometimes simple changes such as a detour on our way to work can be stressful. However, life can bring serious changes that fundamentally alter how we live our lives.
Just like the detour on the way to work, it is extremely helpful to prepare for change when you know it is going to happen. This week, we will focus on one such issue: preparing for life after divorce.
No one plans on getting a divorce. Most people enter into marriage hoping they will spend the rest of their lives with their spouse. Unfortunately, we all know that close to fifty percent of marriages end up in divorce. The resulting changes divorce can bring can dramatically impact the quality of our lives. Here are some issues to consider.
What is the first thing you should do after being granted a judgment of divorce? Revise your estate documents. Do you want your ex-spouse to be your sole beneficiary in your will? Better yet, do you want your ex-spouse to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated? How about deciding whether to withhold life support if you are seriously ill?
If you answered an emphatic NO to these questions, you need to revise your estate plan. First, execute a new will changing your beneficiary. Also, revise your power of attorney to designate a new attorney in fact as well as a new medical representative under your advanced medical directive. An estate attorney can assist you with all of these important decisions.
When you are married, you naturally rely on your spouse. When a marriage ends, you soon realize you must rely on yourself. There can be feelings of rejection, loss and anger after your divorce. Dealing with these important feelings can take much longer and be much more complicated than changing ones’ estate plan.
Most experts agree an essential part of the healing process following divorce is understanding that how you feel about yourself will largely determine how you relate to others. When you stop beating yourself up over the breakup, you will have more energy to relate to others. Consider speaking with a counselor to help sort out these emotional issues and get you back on the road to recovery.
During your marriage, you shared expenses and were able to manage financial issues but now you are on your own. It is critical to establish a budget listing all of your expenses to determine how your money is being spent. It is also important to check your credit report for accuracy. At some point, you may apply for a mortgage or loan and need to address negative credit information.
Regardless of whether you are receiving financial support in the form of child support and/or alimony, it is important to establish a goal of financial independence. It will not happen at once, but take the necessary steps of improving your education. Update your resume to reflect all of your experience and skills that are marketable in the workplace.
Change can be difficult, especially following a divorce but you will be surprised how strong you really are and how much you can accomplish if you believe in yourself!
Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner, will discuss “Adoption.”
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law offices of Hoffman DiMuzio.
Send questions, or comments to Victoria at [email protected]. Or call 856-845-8243.
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.