If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage in Topeka, KS, it’s natural to be worried about how your divorce case will unfold and the implications it is likely to have on your future. Every marriage is unique; therefore, every divorce case will unfold differently. An experienced Topeka divorce lawyer is an invaluable asset during this challenging process, and your legal team can not only guide you through your divorce proceedings but also provide you with valuable information and guidance for the first steps you should take after your divorce is finalized.
Divorce is an inherently emotional experience, even when you are utterly sure that you need to end your marriage and that it is beyond any hope of reconciliation. However, once it is complete, you may feel lost as to what you should do next. You may also encounter unforeseen issues that compel you to return to family court shortly. The following best practices may help you have an easier transition into the next uncertain phase of your life after divorce.
Address Your Personal Finances
One of the most important aspects of the divorce process is property division, which entails dividing assets and debts between divorcing spouses. During your divorce, you will need to provide a financial disclosure statement that outlines all the separate property you own as well as the marital property you and your spouse own jointly. It’s possible to negotiate property division privately through alternative dispute resolution, or a judge may make the final decisions regarding property division if you proceed with litigation.
The divorce process will likely entail the formal division of assets, assigning both you and your spouse separate property ownership rights over your respective shares of your marital property. Once your divorce is complete, it’s a good idea to carefully review your new financial status. This may entail setting up new personal bank accounts, revising direct deposit information through your employer, and establishing a new budget for your independent lifestyle. Your divorce attorney may be able to provide some guidance on these issues or refer you to a reliable financial advisor to assist you with your transition.
Establish Your New Independent Lifestyle
Divorce can take a heavy emotional toll on anyone who experiences it. Once your divorce is complete, it’s natural to feel uneasy or depressed about your situation, but taking steps to build the next phase of your life can be healing and rewarding. This initial phase of recovery after divorce is a deeply personal experience that will be different for everyone. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to “heal” from divorce correctly, but there are a few things you can do to make transitioning to the next phase of your life easier:
- Lean on your support system. Family members and friends can be invaluable allies when you are struggling with the aftermath of your divorce. Don’t be afraid to seek emotional support when you need it from those closest to you.
- Develop a new personal routine. Your everyday routine will likely change dramatically after divorce. You can use this change as an opportunity to implement constructive changes to your lifestyle, such as taking more time to exercise and improving personal health and nutrition.
- Consider traveling. If your personal and professional obligations allow it, gifting yourself a short vacation after finalizing your divorce can provide refreshment and clarity after a very difficult experience.
Ultimately, everyone has unique needs and goals following divorce, and these are just a few suggestions of how you might cultivate more positive experiences after finalizing your divorce.
Revisit Your Estate Plans
One critical consideration you must make following your divorce is whether you need to adjust any existing estate plans you have. For example, if you have your ex-spouse listed as a beneficiary in your estate plan, it’s probably a good idea to change these designations following your divorce. An experienced estate planning lawyer is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to revise their estate plan following divorce.
Changing your estate plan is likely to involve much more than simply changing beneficiary designations. Depending on how property division unfolded in your divorce, you may not have some of the assets included in your will, and your financial needs may have changed. A thorough review from an experienced attorney is the best way to implement the changes you need in your estate plan.
Consider Modification If Necessary
Once your divorce has been finalized, and you have a family court order in hand, it’s essential to understand that you may need to revisit this court order in the future. This is because life can pose unexpected challenges with little to no warning. For example, suppose you have a divorce order that includes stipulations for alimony or child support, and you lose your job or suffer a catastrophic injury. In that case, you may not be able to meet these financial obligations.
The modification process allows an individual subject to a family court order to request reasonable changes to the order to reflect recent life events. The modification process is relatively straightforward. The party requesting the modification completes a petition and submits it to the Topeka family court. A hearing is set, and the parties subject to the order in question have the right to speak on the issue before a judge. Modification is the best way to adjust your family court order’s terms for alimony, spousal support, child support, and child custody.
Build a Strong Relationship With Your Topeka Family Law Attorney
Divorce is never easy, and the process is likely to carry several significant implications for your foreseeable future. Your Topeka divorce attorney will be an invaluable asset throughout your divorce proceedings, but they may also provide critical support following your divorce. Building a solid rapport with an experienced Topeka divorce lawyer will make it easier to handle many common post-divorce concerns, such as filing a petition for modification or initiating contempt proceedings if your ex refuses to abide by your family court order. Consult your Topeka divorce attorney about any concerns you may have after finalizing your divorce to have an easier time transitioning to the next phase of your life.