You can see the light at the end of the tunnel: your divorce is almost final. With everything smoothly heading toward the legal end to your marriage, you may be ready to sit back and relax. Avoid giving in to that temptation. Your journey is not over yet.
Just because your divorce is through does not mean your work is. You still have three important things to do to secure your future.
1. Have a financial plan
Ideally, this should be a part of the divorce process, but sometimes it takes the reality of living under different circumstances to fully realize the change in your financial health. You need to create a new budget to live by that accounts for legal fees, lost assets and lower income (whether you are a new breadwinner or the one paying child support). You cannot maintain your previous lifestyle if you want to stay out of debt. Talk to a divorce financial planner if you need assistance.
2. Update your estate plans
While divorce in Michigan does revoke some aspects of your estate plans, it does not automatically invalidate everything concerning your former spouse. It is best to be clear with your intentions for your property and decisions made on your behalf by updating all of your estate planning documents to reflect your current situation. Eliminating ambiguity and errors means a quicker probate process and likelier adherence to your wishes.
3. Modify your order when applicable
Most of your divorce decree is final, but matters such as parenting time and support payments can change as your circumstances do. You can request modifications (or fight your spouse's efforts to do so) to ensure they meet new needs. Examples of factors that can change these areas of your divorce agreement are:
- Loss of employment
- A different work schedule
- A decrease in income
- Health problems for you or your children
- Abuse and other safety concerns
Delaying the pursuit of a modification can adversely affect your finances, so as soon as you know changes will occur and you have evidence, contact your attorney.