Divorce is tough. There is no other way to describe it. In addition to the potentially lengthy legal process of finalizing a divorce, experienced divorce lawyers will explain that many aspects of your life will change; some within your control, some out of your control. When meeting with any divorce lawyer, take some time to consider the following aspects of your life after divorce that may change.
- Name – If you intend to change your name following your divorce, it is important to speak with your divorce lawyer regarding how this process is done. Many counties simply require you to fill out a form (typically available online) and submit it to the county court. This process can usually be handled alone, but it may save time and paperwork to have experienced divorce lawyers guide your through the process.
- Last Will and Testament and Estate Planning Documents – If you created a Last Will and Testament while you were married (presumably leaving everything to your spouse), it is vital that these documents get updated as soon as possible after a divorce. Likewise with any document with a beneficiary designation such as a 401(k) plan, IRA, or life insurance policy if your spouse is named as the primary beneficiary.
- Transferring Title – Following any divorce and the division of property, you should transfer your main assets into your name only. If you bought out your spouse’s share of the marital home, transfer the title into your name, likewise with the title to your car.
- Living Arrangements – As part of any divorce, there are issues surrounding the living arrangements of each spouse. However, there is no one simple solution to this problem. It is not uncommon for the marital house to be sold, for one spouse to be living in an apartment or condominium, or for one spouse to keep the family house with the children spending as much time there as possible in order to maintain consistency in their lives. This is an important aspect of the divorce process, especially if children are involved, that is sometimes overlooked by divorcing couples.
- Lifestyle Changes – As part of a divorce, you should expect your lifestyle and standard of living to change. Why? Because the same cumulative income now has to support two households instead of one. As part of your discussions with your divorce lawyers, you should develop a future budget based on your potential needs and how your limited income will affect you and/or your children.
- Relationships – After getting married, both of your families and friends are blended; your friends become your spouse’s friends and vice versa. However, when a couple is divorced, these family members and friends typically feel compelled to choose sides and your relationships with many of these people will likely change. When this happens, do not take it personally, just remember if they are truly your friend or family, they will find a way to stay close with you and understand the position that divorce has put you and your family in. Not only will your friends and family relationships likely change, but if children are involved, you will be forging new relationships with them as well as your ex-spouse.
Going through with a divorce is big step in your life and you should not have to go through it alone. Speaking with experienced divorce lawyers regarding not only the legal process and procedures, but to discuss the real-life implications and how your life will likely change following a divorce.
Alex Magid, Esquire is a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer at The Martin Law Firm, P.C., located in Blue Bell, PA. He received his law degree from Widener University School of Law in 2011, graduating with Pro Bono Distinction. Alex is currently a member of the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and serves as Treasurer of the LeTip International Group of Fort Washington, PA. To read more of Alex’s work, please visit www.jbmartinlaw.com/blogs.