Just when you thought it was over…other issues pop up, or are yet to be resolved. Here are a few things you should consider, post divorce:
Reading Is Fundamental
It seems obvious, but it’s a good reminder: Take a look at your final orders. This document may have any of the following titles: “Permanent Orders” (if a result of a trial); “Separation Agreement”and/or “Parenting Plan” (if by agreement). Read the document thoroughly, because this will govern how to approach resolving these issues after the divorce. Make sure you understand what it says you can or cannot do, what you are entitled to, and if there are any important dates or deadlines you should note in your calendar.
Divorcing Affects Personal Administrative Needs
Along with your divorce, there may be documentation that needs to be updated or changed to reflect your newly single status. Some examples of important documents to review are: Your will, your social security card, passport and driver’s licenses if you have a name change, bank accounts, tax documents, retirement accounts and credit cards. Take inventory of all of your important paperwork, and make sure it is updated appropriately.
Know Your Obligations and Fulfill Them
Follow through on your obligations. If you have been ordered to pay maintenance or child support, you should work to ensure the payments are paid on time and on schedule.
Likewise, if you are the recipient of maintenance or child support, keep a record of when payments are due and received in case you have to revisit the issue post divorce.
Post Decree Motions
Sometimes after the divorce is final, it is necessary to return to court, and ask the court for help in fulfilling of matters deemed settled or allocated during your divorce process. This is known as a post-decree motion, and it signals to the court that, for whatever reason, the parties are having trouble adhering to the terms of the divorce decree.
Sometimes, certain areas of a divorce can be, and should be, modified. Areas that are commonly addressed in post decree motions are child support, maintenance (or alimony), custody, parenting time (or visitation) schedules and select property issues. Situations change, jobs and salaries increase or decrease, and sometimes relocation may be on the table. Depending on how the initial orders were put into place, and their resulting terms, these issues may be modifiable upon agreement, or request of a court.
If your divorce was amicable, it may seem easier to settle these things privately and informally. Resist the temptation. A divorce decree is a legal proceeding, and–usually–you need to keep the court up-to-date if and when situations change. If you’re unsure, it’s better to get the advice of counsel then to risk it and face an angry judge somewhere down the road.
Do you need a skilled, compassionate Colorado family law attorney to resolve outstanding issues? At Stahly LLC, we want our clients to feel informed and empowered. Please learn more about our approach here on this site, or call or email to set up a private strategic consultation.