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Tips for moving on once your divorce is final

Even non-contentious divorces can be draining. The process may seem like a never-ending series of meetings, document-signings, working out a parenting plan and possibly moving to a new home. Even if you have assets that allow you to live comfortably, adjusting to a new, scaled-down lifestyle can be challenging.

While you’re likely feeling a little (or a lot) relieved, the end of the divorce proceedings can hit some people hard. But now it’s time for the next phase of your life. Following is some advice from professionals who deal with divorce (including attorneys, therapists, divorce coaches and financial advisors) for newly-divorced people.

Of course, taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is essential This means taking time to acknowledge the finality of the marriage, but also how much you’ve grown and learned in the process. Making it through a divorce is no small accomplishment. It’s important to give yourself credit for that.

It’s also important to take care of yourself physically and to stay active. Physical activity can help clear your mind and release anger and other emotions.

If you haven’t already, get your financial life in order. Now that you know what assets you’re coming away from the divorce with and what kind of support you’ll be receiving or paying, you can work on a more formal budget. A financial advisor who specializes in helping divorced people can provide guidance.

Don’t forget to make necessary changes to your beneficiary designations and your estate plan. If you don’t have at least a will, now’s the time to draw one up. If your family law attorney doesn’t handle estate planning, he or she can likely recommend someone who does. It may be best not to continue with the estate planning attorney you and your spouse relied on, but to have your own.

It’s good to have a follow-up meeting with your divorce attorney after things have settled down for awhile. You’ll likely have some questions and possibly issues. Post-divorce changes to things like parenting plans and child and spousal support over the upcoming months and years will likely necessitate some assistance from your attorney, so it’s not a bad idea to keep in touch.

Source: Huffington Post, “The First Thing You Must Do When Your Divorce Is Final,” Brittany Wong, Aug. 22, 2016

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