Women's Divorce Blog

Life After Divorce?

The hurt and disruption caused by a divorce can make you question whether there can be life after divorce. How can I pick up the pieces and how good will the quality of life be after a divorce?

Financial Documents

  • Update your life insurance including beneficiary
  • Make sure joint accounts and credit cards are closed
  • Update your will
  • Consider storage of important documents

After a divorce, some important documents that need to be reviewed can get left out.

Credit Cards

Make sure you no longer have joint cards. Call and confirm a change has been made. Do not assume that your letter has been received or that your request by phone has been carried out. Check your credit report to make sure its reflected there also.

Bank Accounts or other joint accounts

Check and see who can sign checks, withdraw money, obtain loans etc and make the necessary changes. This includes stocks and mutual funds.

Life Insurance

The beneficiary may need to be changed. Review and make changes as necessary. Now is a good time to check and see if you have sufficient coverage.

"Across all life stages, a significant number of consumers (around 40 percent) fail to review their life insurance policies on an annual basis."

  • Shop around
  • Compare your company's consumer complaint ratio to that of others in the industry
  • Review annually

You can check your company's consumer complaint ratio at the NAIC consumer information source


Wills

If you have made a will, now is the time to check and make sure it is current. You may have your ex as executor and you may wish to change that to someone else. If you have not made a will, now might be the time to do so. Perhaps you are thinking more about your future and if you have children, you should certainly have a will. Storage of wills can be an issue. Many wills go missing each year. Talk to your lawyer about options. Ask yourself (and your lawyer) 

  • Who will know where your will is?
  • If your lawyer stores your will, will he have a current address years later?
  • Is your will accessible to people you may not want to see the will?
  • Have any copies been clearly marked "copy"?
  • Have you destroyed any previous versions?
  • What about electronic storage?
  • Does your state have any special rules?

Make sure any changes you mark on your will are promptly send to your lawyer so a revised will becomes the current will. Old copies should be destroyed to avoid confusion and to prevent any potential embarrassment if found.

Security & Storage

Important documents should be stored safely. This seems obvious but many people keep these documents in desk drawers and other unsafe places.

Consider fire-proof safes or bank boxes for the following:

  • Deeds

  • Saving

  • Bonds
  • Insurance policies
  • Wills

  • Legal documents

  • Birth certificates

  • Loan papers

Most of these can usually be replaced but proper storage can save you time and expense in trying to replace them.

It is also a good idea to

  • Make copies of the documents listed above.

  • Make copies of other documents such as your license, insurance cards, registration, ID cards

  • Make copies of receipts for expensive items
  • Make a list of the serial numbers of valuable items

  • Make photocopies of your credit cards front and back and write down the emergency numbers to call if they are lost or stolen

For extra security, keep a set of copies at home and at work. Make sure they are under lock and key.

Do not forget things of sentimental value.

  • Store photo negatives and/or CD backups of your photos in safe place in case of fire or flood

  • Think of other items of sentimental value and how you might protect them

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