Divorce - Picking Up the Pieces

Last month we featured some chores you needed to do to prepare for and make it through divorce proceedings. This month we will include some things that you will want to do after the divorce. Here are a few things that you want to consider.

If you have kids than you will want to make arrangements for child support or alimony. Alimony is given to the spouse who was dependent upon the other. Each alimony case will be different and the amounts awarded are dependent upon a number of factors.

Child support is given to the parent who has taken custody of the children and is used to pay for costs associated with raising the child. If you are having difficulties collecting child support there are groups that will assist you in getting it. Alimony and child support can be agreed upon between the two parties or if there is no agreement reached it will be determined by a judge according to your state’s specific laws.

Some people may be in for a bigger lifestyle change if they were previously a stay at home parent. It may have been awhile since you have had a full-time job. It is important that you get your resume together and start applying for qualified positions. It is a rare occasion where you can survive off of your former spouse’s alimony.

There are online resources and people-for-hire that will assist you with putting your resume together. If you want to save some money ask a friend who has recently looked for a job. Even if you have little experience there are job opportunities out there for everyone. It may not start out with a dream job, but it will help you with the bills.

If you are currently working, you will want to contact your HR department so that you can make changes to all of your tax and insurance information. With your insurance you will want to drop your former spouse off of your plan. You can adjust the amount of coverage you have leaving you with less money being taken out of your check.

You also may want to change your beneficiary in your life insurance plan. With taxes you will obviously have to change your marital status. You may have to change your withholdings. Some companies may have a way to have child support or alimony automatically withdrawn from your paycheck.

If you haven’t yet, you will want to make a visit to your bank. You may have to close a previous account or open a new savings and checking account. If there were any decisions about banking investments made during the divorce negotiations than you will have to make the appropriate changes. If your former spouse’s consent is needed you can go to the bank together or you can do it through lawyers.

Setting up a meeting with a personal banker can be beneficial as they are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. They can also share investment options that may help you in the long run.

If you were the person in the relationship that did not handle the finances, bill paying and budgets can be overwhelming. Consulting with a credit counselor or private banker can help assist you. There is plenty of educational material that can teach you how to budget and pay bills.

You can also contact your utility providers and other creditors who may have easy to pay programs. Automatic payments are an easy way to assure that your bill gets paid on time and in full each month. If you are on a tight budget however you may want to be cautious because you do not want to be overdrawn.

You may have to downsize some. If you are struggling with the car or house you will want to strongly consider trading out for something more affordable.

Another thing that some women might consider is whether or not they are going to change their name back. For some this helps them regain their own identity. If you choose to do so than you will have to contact the companies that have your old name as their contact information. You will probably have to provide documentation of the divorce.

Though we have focused on some of the financial aspects that come with divorce there are obviously emotional issues and strains that accompany divorce. It is important to consult with support groups or a doctor if you are having a difficult time with your new lifestyle.

Pioneer Credit Counseling is a bonded, non-profit credit counseling agency offering debt management programs, financial counseling, bankruptcy counseling and housing counseling nationwide. Call our friendly counselors today at 800-888-1596 or visit

Our accredited credit counselors will help you take control of your financial life and get out of debt faster than you can on your own. We offer a debt management program that will stop the collections calls, lower your monthly payment and provide you peace of mind. Our pre and post bankruptcy counselors provide an easy process for you so you can focus on rebuilding your financial being.

It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.

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