While a divorce can be an emotionally and financially painful event, finalizing the divorce is just the first step. Once you and your former spouse have divided up the property and determined when each person gets to the see the kids, you now have to figure out how you will live as a single person. What should you expect after completing the divorce process?
Understand How the Divorce Impacts Your Taxes
If you receive alimony, you will have to account for that as income on your federal tax return. If you are paying alimony, you are able to deduct that on your taxes each year. Therefore, it is important to keep a paper trail of each payment that you make if you wish to make a deduction. In the event that you sell your home and receive proceeds from that sale, you may be required to pay capital gains taxes.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Report
Regardless of what the divorce decree says, you are still liable for any joint debt that you and your former spouse accrued. For instance, if you had an outstanding credit card debt on a joint account, the credit card company could demand payment from you even if your ex was required to make the monthly payments.
If the payments aren’t made, you could suffer from a lower credit score and blemishes on your credit history. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on your credit report and don’t disregard notices from creditors. It may also be a good idea to change the beneficiaries of retirement account funds after a divorce.
Stay Civil With Your Former Husband or Wife
One of the hardest things to do is to be civil when you see your former spouse. However, if you have children, it is important to keep your focus on the relationship that you have with your child. Even if you and your ex do not get along, saying mean things about him or her or acting rude in public could influence how your child thinks about the other parent. This could undermine a mother or father’s authority or strain the relationship between your child and his or her mother or father. Keep in mind that your child or your former spouse could see anything that you post on social media, so it is better to keep any negative thoughts private if possible.
After a divorce, there will be an adjustment period as you are once again tasked with depending on yourself for survival. While it may seem weird to do your own laundry again or cook your own dinner, time will eventually help you get back to a normal routine and maybe even lead you to a new relationship.