What does a
divorce mean? Something different for every person that goes through the process.
That’s one thing that I can say for certain in having represented
many, many clients in divorce cases. If you are embarking on your own
divorce story or are about to conclude one, know that thousands of your
neighbors here in Southeast Texas have gone through many of the same things
you currently are. They’ve made it out of their divorce alive, but
whether or not they (or you) will thrive is an entirely different subject
Will you have to move after your divorce? Will you have to change jobs?
Will you be able to see your children as much as you used to? These are
all legitimate questions to be asking yourself. Ideally they are questions
that you would ask yourself before the divorce has even started so that
you can create some goals to work towards during the divorce itself. Regardless,
there is no better time than the present to start pondering what life
will be like for you after your divorce.
The attorneys with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our thoughts
on this subject. While there is no one-size-fits-all type prescription
for post-divorce success we think these tips will be handy for anyone
either going through a divorce or about to conclude one.
Update your email, bank account and other passwords. This may not seem like anything major but from past experiences with
clients I can assure you that it is not. Even if you don’t think
your ex-spouse had access to or knowledge of your sensitive passwords
I would go through your online accounts and update any information that
you can. Usernames, passwords, passcodes, PIN numbers, etc. There is no
sense in leaving yourself vulnerable to having your identity or finances
hijacked in a vulnerable time in your life. Set aside some time to do
this as soon as you are able to.
Open a new bank account. While you’re at it, open up a new
bank account different from the one you had with your spouse. Do this even if your
spouse has been removed from the account. Again- this is a better safe
than sorry move. Your ex-spouse still may have checks or bank statements
that could allow him or her access to the funds in the account. It is
simple enough to cash out the account and transfer the money to a new
bank or credit union.
Work with your attorney’s office and retrieve all your files. At any point during your attorney-client relationship you can ask for
a copy of your file from your attorney. Your attorney cannot respond that
it’s not a good time or that the files are not available. It is
your right (at least in Texas) to be able to receive a copy of your file
within a reasonable length of time from your having asked for it. Once
your attorney has made the copy for you review the paperwork and see if
any of the documents need to be re-filed. Looking through the paperwork
may cause your memory to be jogged and can help show you other things
you need to do in your post-divorce life.
Exercise. I’ve found that with prior clients of ours, either he or she is
an exercise fanatic who hits the gym or the jogging trail seven days a
week or is someone who shies away from exercise completely. As with anything
in life I would advise you find a happy medium.
If you’re someone who already exercises regularly I would suggest
that you stick to whatever regimen is beneficial for you from a physical
and mental perspective. Definitely don’t use all of your new free
time to exercise but use physical activity to lift your spirits and keep
On the other hand, if you are not much of an exerciser take this time to
learn a new sport or activity. Walking is aerobically beneficial and can
help to burn calories and improve your overall mood. Being outdoors (even
in south Texas) can be a lot of fun. Obviously check with your physician
to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise, but for most people I
would venture to say that stepping outside your home for a twenty minute
walk five times a week would not be too taxing from either a time or body
Update beneficiaries where applicable. Any discussion of life invariably will lead to a discussion on what would
happen in the event of the unforeseeable. If you were to pass away after
your divorce would your ex-spouse still be listed as a beneficiary on a
life insurance policy or investment account? The last thing you would want after your
divorce is to have your ex-spouse receive a substantial amount of benefits
or income due to your allowing him or her to remain as the named beneficiary
on an account of some sort.
Have a will drafted for you and/or update your will. If you do not have a
will you need to have one drafted. It is not expensive or difficult. You may
not consider yourself to be wealthy or in need of one but the fact is
if you own a home, have money in the bank or have family that depends
on you financially it is a smart decision to make. There are many attorneys
in our area that can assist with the drafting of a will and are worksheets
available online that can assist you as well for minimal cost. Peace of
mind and a firm knowledge of what will happen with your assets after your
passing are well worth the effort of creating a will.
Questions about life after divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Thank you for the opportunity to share these pieces of advice for successful
post-divorce living. If you have any questions on this or any other subject in
family law please do not hesitate to
Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys are available six days a week to meet
with you for a free of charge consultation.