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What needs to be done after the divorce decree?


The issuance of the divorce decree in Pennsylvania may not necessarily resolve all the legal, financial and emotional issues that arise at the end of a marriage. A divorced spouse should take several additional steps, once their divorce is final.

First, there should be an additional meeting with their attorney. They should discuss problems that may possibly arise, ways to avoid disputes and each spouse's responsibilities and rights. The procedure for agreement modification or changing the decree should be discussed. An attorney should also review and explain the procedures for enforcement of the terms of property division, custody, child support and other agreements and the options available, if the other spouse does not comply with the decree.

Post-divorce life may also require a new financial plan and steps to assure financial security. A spouse should develop a new budget. Planning should also address taxes implications, protecting assets and charitable donations.

Many financial and legal documents should be reviewed and updated to assure that the former spouse does not remain as a beneficiary. These include pension and other retirement accounts, insurance policies, wills and trusts.

In addition to these legal and financial matters, a divorced spouse should tend to personal matter. Parents should constantly assure their children and keep them apprised of the changes that their family will face. Support from their guidance counselors, teachers and other family members involved in their lives is beneficial.

Spouses should also acknowledge that this may start a new and fulfilling chapter in their lives, acknowledge what they learned and seek the company of trusted friends and relatives for support. Exercise and meditation are acknowledged stress relievers and improve self-esteem.

Seeking a fair and just divorce may require legal assistance. A lawyer can help assure that rights are protected.

Source: The Hufington Post, "The first thing you must do when your divorce is final," Brittany Wong, Aug. 22, 2016

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