Practical Aspects of Divorce Recovery
Key Points
  • Taking care of yourself during divorce is important. We often forget to take care of ourselves because we are so busy taking care of others. Don’t let yourself get run down.
  • Make sure you seek financial assistance from a certified financial planner or a financial advisor. It is never too early to plan for your financial future.
  • Make sure you are protecting yourself, including your credit. Separate your credit cards and loans as soon as possible, check your credit scores from the 3 credit reporting agencies. And make sure you have insurance, do not go without insurance.

Take Care of Your Health

It is small wonder why people going through a divorce often pay for it with their health. The last thing a person needs in the midst of a divorce is illness or an accident. People going through the trauma of a divorce are particularly at risk. Take care. Eat properly. Get enough rest. Watch the alcohol intake. As a 90-year-old woman says, “Your health is your wealth.”

Get Your Financial Affairs in Order

Most people come out of divorce poorer than they went in because divorce upends finances for some time. Attorneys' fees, unexpected alimony payments, significant child support payments, seriously compromised credit ratings - all come together with the cost of two households. Now that you're on your own, you'll need to take stock of your situation and make adjustments. If you have the means, enlist a financial adviser to assist you in planning for your future. 

Moreover, a divorcing person needs to take care of a variety of uninspiring tasks like name changes, or changes of address on a variety of legal documents. As quickly as possible, handle name changes (if applicable) on legal documents such as wills, driver's licenses, passports, and insurance policies.

Separate your bank accounts. Place half the money from any joint accounts in a separate checking account.

Protect your credit. Separate your credit and loan accounts quickly. You may know all of your credit information, but you should still look at an official report. Order a copy of all three credit reports – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – and go over them carefully. Highlight the names and numbers of each creditor you share with your spouse.

Be careful about assets. The worst thing you can do is sign over ownership of an asset like a house or car, but leave your name on the mortgage or car loan.

Check on your insurance coverage. Make certain you're covered. Don’t go without insurance.

Don’t forget the taxes. The year your divorce becomes final is the year your tax status changes to single. You may have new income and deductions to deal with – like alimony. The first year you file will be the hardest, so start working on it early.

Suggested Reading
The Divorce Recovery Journal The Divorce Recovery Journal
An interactive book of insightful observations splashed with humor, useful advice on divorce and starting over, and space for your personal journaling.

Author: Linda C. Senn

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