Final Steps

Aug 8, 2012 by

Your divorce settlement agreement is one of the last legal actions in a divorce and is the final binding agreement between spouses that legally defines the terms and conditions of the action. Divorce settlements cover the division of property as well as important issues like custody, visitation, and support. Settlement agreements must be signed by both parties and accepted by the court before they can be incorporated into the final divorce decree.

When a divorcing couple cannot come to agreement on particular aspects of the settlement issues, the court will determine asset and debt distribution and will rule on custody, support and visitation. Court-specified agreements between spouses are legally binding and failure to comply with the terms set forth in the court-ordered settlement agreement can be prosecuted as contempt of court violations.

It can also be difficult to rebuild your life on your own after a divorce. Responsibilities like caring for a family and managing finances are important, but you will have to take care of your own needs first. Going through a divorce is difficult time that can leave you emotionally drained, but there are still important issues to take care of after the divorce decree has been finalized.

“¢    Close any joint credit accounts.
“¢    Close any joint bank accounts.
“¢    Open new bank accounts in your own name.
“¢    Change beneficiaries on all insurance policies and retirement accounts.
“¢    Draw up a new will and power of attorney documents.
“¢    Change your name with the Social Security Administration.

Once the dust has settled you may find that your divorce created problems with your credit score. One way you can protect yourself is to check your credit report regularly for errors and get them corrected as soon as possible. Regular credit report spot checks can also help you to halt any identity theft issues. You should get a copy of your personal credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus operating today. Reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are free once a year from most credit services. Your divorce settlement process may require you to pay off prior debts at a time when you are least able to make more payments. If you are responsible for a delinquent account, you should contact the creditor immediately to see if they will work with you to make deferred or lower payment amounts until you can get back on your feet again.

Getting a divorce does not mean that you must face all your hardships alone and you may find that counseling from single’s support groups and your church community could be a big help. Professional counseling can help you deal with the changes in lifestyle and emotional issues of a divorce. Programs for divorced parents are often available at local schools and park districts too. It requires strength and courage to move ahead with life after a divorce, when you have good health and a good attitude it becomes much easier.


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