PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2024

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The one thing that helped me the most after my divorce was working with a personal counselor. While I could share some things with my family and friends, I needed to talk to someone who was more objective. I also did not want the focus of every conversation to be on my divorce, which, at the time, made me feel like a failure. Working with a counselor provided a safe space where I could vent my feelings, work through the loss, and rebuild my confidence. And, of course, since my counselor was trained to help people like me process grief and move beyond it, each session led me closer to a sense of release and freedom. Without those counseling sessions, I would not have adequately processed the emotions, and my personal growth would likely have remained stalled. Step Three: Update Your Documents One way I frequently assist clients in divorce is to incorporate a change of name into the divorce decree. If you decide to make a name change later, an attorney can assist in the process to avoid mistakes that could cause you future problems. After changing your name, you need to ensure that the correct name appears on all official documents and accounts. This includes identification such as your driver's license, passport, and Social Security card, but also the name listed with the post office, the name on your bank accounts, and even the name on your airline miles programs. In particular, if you were awarded the residence, you need to ensure that your new name appears on the deed. Step Four: Change Your Estate Planning Documents You should make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to prepare a new will, power of attorney, healthcare directives, and other documents. You must also change the beneficiary clauses on your retirement and bank accounts and your life insurance policy. It is wise to review these documents and clauses regularly anyway, so while this is a very involved task, it is essential, particularly when you have children. Dealing with end- of-life is an emotional process. When all of these documents are prepared ahead of time while everyone is healthy, it will save your loved ones considerable stress. Step Five: Evaluate Your Insurance Policies As an attorney, I often remind clients not to overlook insurance issues both during and after divorce. If your spouse always handled insurance issues and you need to Britney E. Harrison is a partner at Calabrese Budner, a family law firm that takes a strategic approach to divorce and marital planning, and you can contact her for advice or assistance. set up your own policies, the process can be confusing. Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek advice. If policies for home or auto insurance are in your name already, you may be carrying more insurance coverage than you need, so this is a good time to potentially cut costs by evaluating your policies. The Right Professionals Can Make All the Difference Assembling the right team of professionals can make all the difference during your divorce and afterward. In my practice, I consistently see that those who are open about seeking help when needed are the ones who adjust to their new life the most efficiently after the divorce. Your divorce team understands the challenges you are experiencing, and we are ready to help. 109

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