PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2024

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Page 109 of 115

PAPERCITY PROMOTION Five Practical Steps W h a t a r e t h e c h a n g e s y o u need to make post-divorce? Seasoned divorce attorney Britney E . H a r r i s o n , partner at the family law firm Calabrese Budner, explains how legal, financial, and emotional support professionals can help navigate the complexities of post-divorce adjustments and ensure a smoother transition to a new chapter in life. Divorce is hard — and, unfortunately, the difficulties don't evaporate when the judge signs the divorce decree. Fortunately, there are active steps you can take to ease the healing and rebuilding process and prevent problems that can hold you back. When you work with an experienced divorce attorney who takes a comprehensive approach to the process, you lay the groundwork for many of these steps while your divorce is still in progress. Based on my experience protecting clients' interests in complex divorce cases — and as a survivor of divorce myself — here are five steps I believe to be crucial to take after a divorce if you want to position yourself to move forward. Step One: Develop a Financial Plan Divorce changes your financial situation in drastic ways. Hopefully, you worked with a financial professional during the process, and your attorney secured your rights to your separate property and fought for a fair division of your marital assets and liabilities. Your attorney likely ensured To Take After Your Divorce that you have continued access to health insurance through COBRA if necessary and obtained a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to access your share of your spouse's retirement assets. These steps were crucial, but there is still much more to do. You need a budget based on your new financial landscape, with short- and long- term plans. If you took a share of retirement assets, talk to a financial professional to determine the best course of action, such as rolling assets into another retirement vehicle. You are starting over in many respects, and the assumptions that you have worked with for years may no longer serve your best interests. It's hard to evaluate all the factors, which is why working with a professional can prove invaluable. However, you also need to take practical steps, such as updating all your bank and credit card accounts to ensure that your former spouse no longer has access. Step Two: Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Health The end of a marriage is a profoundly emotional loss, much like the death of a loved one. You lose the hopes and dreams of the future and grieve the passing of a relationship that once held so much promise. To heal and move forward, you must allow yourself to go through the whole grieving process. 108

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