A Post-divorce Checklist

Once your divorce is finalized, it’s akin to reaching the finish line after a long race. That endpoint often felt distant, almost unreachable. Now that the divorce is behind you, it’s time to relax and take a deep breath. Regardless of whether you’re satisfied with the outcome, it’s a chance to move forward. But what comes next? Especially for military personnel, there’s a specific checklist to consider for a military divorce. What aspects should you keep in mind as you transition into your new life post-divorce?

If you’re seeking my advice, and I assume you are since you’re reading this blog post, I recommend acknowledging that there is still work to do after finalizing your divorce. Completing your divorce doesn’t signify the end of the entire process. Instead, I recommend taking the time to assess your situation, set some goals, and develop a plan to achieve those goals. This isn’t meant to be a cheesy self-help blog post. We’ll discuss concrete information and how it can help you adjust and thrive in your post-divorce world.

Assess the status of your relationship with your children

Parents undergoing divorce typically prioritize their relationship with their children before, during, and after the process. From experience, those who express the most regret or ambivalence toward their divorce often struggle to achieve their goals regarding custody, visitation, and conservatorship of their children. By focusing on what’s best for your children, you can rest easier and increase the likelihood of maintaining a meaningful relationship with them post-divorce.

This starts with communicating with your kids during the divorce about what the case means to you and them. Depending on the age of your children, they may have different questions about what the long-term impact of the divorce will be. Rather than complain to your children or talk to them about your frustrations with the divorce, you should use your time wisely and discuss what you are going to do to make sure the transition into post-divorce life is add been official for everyone, including them. Frame every conversation you have with your children with them at the center rather than yourself.

You may discover that your children are adjusting to life as well as can be expected and that your relationship with them hasn’t suffered at all. On the other hand, you may find that your relationship with your children has suffered, and as a result, you all may need some counseling or therapy to get back on track from a relationship perspective. There is no shame in admitting that you may need outside help to get on the same page with your kids after the divorce. Don’t let your pride or misconceptions about therapy get in the way of doing what is best for yourself and you as a parent.

Assess the status of your relationship with your co-parent

if you attempt to begin your co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse in the same way you ended your marriage, you will be in some trouble. Simply changing hats and calling someone your Co-parent rather than your ex-spouse is not going to do anything to change the nature of that relationship. The relationship reached a point where divorce was necessary, and it will further deteriorate if you do not reassess it and actively work on rebuilding strong and open lines of communication. This is crucial for the benefit of your children in the long term.

Post-Divorce Parenting Dynamics: A Shift in Focus

The reality is that even though you and your ex-spouse may look the same physically and may believe the nature of your relationship to be the same during and after the divorce, the fact is that the nature of your relationship has changed significantly in the past few months. You are no longer two partners in life and decision-making in all areas as you were when married. Rather, now your entire focus is on your relationship with your children and working together to raise them successfully. While it is nice not to have to work with this person in all areas of your life, the one left area is by far the most important to you and your Co-parent.

If possible, I would recommend seeking out your co-parent to speak to them about your expectations for your relationship moving forward. I’m not giving you any sentimental Bury the hatchet or water under the bridge type of analogy. Rather, I am asking you tp have an honest and Frank discussion with this person about the problems you may have communicating with them and how you all will seek to avoid problems to benefit your child. You can do so in person, over the phone, or even using Co-parenting websites. You should establish each of your preferred ways of being communicated early on and then stick to those methods to avoid confusion or frustration.

The Key to Successful Co-Parenting: Effective Communication

If nothing else, you need to learn to be able to communicate with this person consistently. From my experience, those parents who are willing to at least communicate with one another tend to do best in the world of co-parenting. I’m not saying that you have to agree with them on every subject or that you shouldn’t still feel hurt or betrayed in some ways depending on your circumstances. I am telling you that having a productive and businesslike relationship with this person is crucial to your ability to Co-parent. You can seek help in your personal life if you have issues personally with that person. However, don’t let personal animosity drift into your relationship.

Finally, I think being able to co-parent effectively does wonders for your children as well. As uneasy as you may feel after your divorce, your children will likely feel the same way. They are not nearly as well equipped as you are, believe it or not, to deal with the changes that you have seen take place in your divorce. For them to be able to see their parents working together despite their differences can not only make them feel more comfortable in their post-divorce lives but can offer them a great lesson as they grow and mature into adults themselves.

What is your debt situation?

One of the issues that I always like to stress with people coming out of a divorce is that debt is not your friend. I say this knowing full well that most people are more comfortable with taking on debt than I am and that you may well have taken on debt to hire an attorney from our office. With that said, debt works best in limited scenarios. Unfortunately, debt does not work well when you factor in risks like job loss, pandemics, general downturns in health, or the health of your children. For that reason, assessing how leveraged you are in terms of debt is a critical step to post-divorce health.

The Importance of Checking Your Credit Report

After a divorce, the first thing I would do is run a credit check on myself and pull a credit report for many of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you have spent the better part of a year focusing on preparing and completing a divorce, you may not have been keeping up to date on your finances and ensuring that you are up to date on every aspect of your financial health. For that reason, you should look at your credit report to determine whether or not you recognize all of the deaths in your name. You would not be the first to be the victim of identity fraud or even the victim of a spouse taking out a loan in your name during a divorce.

By doing this, you can more easily assess your financial state to determine if any remedial measures are necessary to address errors on the report or evidence of identity theft. If everything checks out on the credit report, the next thing I would do is begin to organize the debts that you have. A simple Google search will reveal a million ways that people will suggest you can pay off debt. I’m not here to vouch for any of them necessarily, but I am telling you that paying off debt is a great idea.

The Power of Budgeting After Divorce

Paying off debt begins with getting on a budget. In your household, the word budget may have always been a four-letter word, but it doesn’t have to be. Budgeting is the first step towards Financial Wellness. Learning how much you make, how much money you have going out each month, and everything in between will help you focus your resources on the most important goals to you. Multiple people have said that creating a budget makes it feel like receiving a raise. Rather than wondering where all the money you earn goes each month, you will have a concrete understanding of what your actual financial life looks like on a basic level.

You’ll then need to identify areas where you can adjust your spending to free up more money each month for debt repayment. There are two approaches to paying down debt: prioritizing based on interest rates or starting with the smallest loans first to gain momentum.

The shortest path to building wealth is to utilize your income as best as you can. That means not paying your income to creditors and lenders were keeping it and investing it for yourself as best you see fit. Debt is the number one reason why people cannot avail themselves well. When you have dead in your life, it prevents you from improving your circumstances financially and saving for your future. Let your divorce be the defining and changing moment in your life as far as you approach death.

Become more goal-oriented

When it comes to your post-divorce life, I would not take one moment for granted and would instead seek to be as intentional as possible regarding achieving goals. Your focus should be on achieving those goals and bettering yourself throughout the process. Those goals could be personal, financial, or relational. It doesn’t matter to me what your goals are; the point of the matter is to do your best to achieve them. Behaving intentionally and doing whatever it takes to accomplish those goals is what I am recommending to you.

Becoming a Better Parent

This means not letting a single day go by where you do not take steps to be more productive or achieve the goals you have set out for yourself. If you have a goal to become a better parent, you need to ask yourself how you will accomplish that goal and what means you have to put it into place for that goal to be attainable. You need to figure out what needs to be true for you to accomplish that goal.

A goal needs to be your own, it needs to be concrete, and it needs to be in writing. Let’s walk through each of these elements to close out today’s blog post. You will not work as hard to accomplish someone else’s goals as you will to accomplish your own. If your mother has a goal for you, then that means you may be able to work hard for that goal, but you will not push as strongly as you would have or the goal to be your own. When you take ownership of something, you tend to work harder and sacrifice more to achieve it, think about what goals mean the most to you, and then work to accomplish those goals.

Setting Concrete Goals: Prioritizing Health After Divorce

Next, I would start to think about making your goals as specific in concrete as possible. Many people that I’ve worked with within divorce cases will tell me that they want to get healthier after a divorce and that the divorce dragged them down into a spot where they were not caring for themselves physically as they should have been otherwise. Simply having a general goal to lose weight is not good enough. You need to be able to every concrete goal and a deadline to accomplish that goal to be as intentional as you can be. Deciding to lose 5 pounds in the next 30 days is measurable and concrete.

Finally, to make yourself as accountable to your goals as possible, I would write down any goals that you have. Physically seeing those goals on a day in and day out basis can be enough to cause you to push hard to accomplish them no matter what the obstacles or challenges you may face are. Sometimes sing a goal like that will be enough to taunt you towards doing what it takes to accomplish your objective. I’ve seen people take on 2nd or even third jobs or accomplish financial goals that they have written down and placed around their homes.


Completing a divorce can feel like a monumental achievement, akin to crossing the finish line of a challenging race. It marks the end of a chapter filled with uncertainties and emotional turmoil, allowing individuals to finally exhale and contemplate the road ahead. Yet, for military personnel navigating a divorce, the journey doesn’t end with the final decree. There’s a unique checklist tailored to military divorces, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to navigate the intricacies of military life post-divorce. As individuals embark on this new chapter, it’s essential to keep in mind the practicalities of transitioning into a post-divorce life, finding support where needed, and embracing the opportunity for a fresh start.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free consultations six days a week, in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations can be a great way for you to learn more about Texas family law and how filing for divorce may impact your family’s circumstances, especially regarding a child custody case.

Thank you for reading our blog post today; we look forward to you joining us tomorrow as we continue to share unique and relevant information about the world of Texas family law and the benefits of experienced, knowledgeable representation in that process.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Spring, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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