10 Things You Need to Do When You Divorce, Part 1

by Norris Law Group on June 26, 2014

10 Things You Need to Do When You Divorce, Part 1Divorce can be an extremely emotional experience. But if one is able to separate the emotion out of it and look at the process from a practical standpoint for a minute, it may become clear that there is also a great deal to do. Most of the activity will affect your life and the lives of your children for years to come, so while it is important to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come with a divorce, it is also important to get organized as quickly as possible.

LearnVest, a website that concentrates on personal and family financial matters, interviewed Jeff Landers, a divorce financial planner, and Ellen Derrick, a LearnVest certified financial planner, to get some answers as to what divorcing people should do to secure their positions throughout the process. Landers and Derrick provided 10 Things You Need to Do When You Get Divorced. The first five appear below, and the final five are featured in the next installment of this blog.

  1. “Budget for divorce expenses.” You can expect the total final cost for a divorce to be somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000.
  2. “Put together a team.” In addition to your divorce attorney, Landers suggests that you also create a “divorce team” of professional who can help you with all areas which may be involved in your divorce, including a financial planner, an expert in business valuation (if you or your spouse owns all or part of a business), a forensic accountant (particularly if you were not the one who took care of financial matters in your marriage), a tax professional, a career counselor (if you were out of the workforce for an extended time during your marriage), and a therapist.
  3. “Budget for the essentials.” If you were the spouse to move out, do you have towels? Plates? Aluminum foil? Create a budget for all the things you and your children will need to create your new household.
  4. “Update your beneficiary forms.” Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, savings accounts, etc. will all need to be updated as soon as possible. As long as your ex-spouse’s name is on documents like these, he or she is still the beneficiary, even if you remarry or make changes to your will.
  5. “Handle your health care.” Ensure that your health care needs are met. If you are losing health coverage that you had through your ex-spouse’s workplace, you should be eligible for COBRA temporary health coverage. COBRA is expensive, however. The Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” may offer you some options as well, although Utah and Wyoming have opted not to offer health plans through state exchanges. As of this writing, the next federal health care exchange enrollment period begins on November 15, 2014. If health insurance is available through your employer, that may be your most cost-effective and convenient option.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the areas of contracts and asset protection. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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