Divorce can be one of the most stressful times of a person’s life and so it’s understandable why sometimes an individual just wants to close this chapter of their life really quickly and move on. However, it’s vitally important not to “bury your head in the sand” and ensure that everything has been dealt with that needs to be dealt with so that there are no nasty loose ends waiting to trip you up in the future. Here are 5 of the top issues to check whether you are currently going through a divorce or divorced many years ago
1. Check that you have your Decree Absolute or Final order confirming that you are no longer married to your ex and make sure you keep it in a safe place as you may need to refer to it in future, for example, to change your surname or get remarried.
2. If you haven’t already sorted out any related financial settlement, then make sure you do so as soon as possible or at least take advice on whether you need to. Divorce is a separate set of proceedings to financial matters which means that even if you are divorced it’s still possible to make a financial claim on your ex, or vice versa. In certain cases, it’s essential to have a court order outlining the financial settlement to avoid any additional or alternative financial claims being made against you in the future.
3. If you have a pension sharing order as part of your financial settlement make sure that it’s implemented. Speak to a Family solicitor or Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) if you aren’t sure how to go about this or want to check that it’s been dealt with.
4. Make a (new) will. Divorce affects inheritance and it’s important to ensure that post-divorce you think about who you wish to benefit in the event of your death and who you would wish to appoint as the executors of your will. You can also appoint a guardian in a will stipulating who you would wish to look after any dependent children in the event of your death.
5. If you haven’t done so already then speak to other professionals if you need help about the non-legal issues post-divorce. This could include taking financial advice from an IFA to maximise your realisable and pension assets (which tend to shrink post-divorce) or a mortgage broker so that you can work out whether it’s possible to re-house. If you and/or the children are still struggling emotionally or psychologically following the break up, then a Coach could make all the difference in helping you move on to a new and hopefully happier chapter of your life.