Broker Check
Post Divorce Checklist: How to Rebuild Your Happy Life Now

Post Divorce Checklist: How to Rebuild Your Happy Life Now

November 19, 2023

CONGRATULATIONS! You are officially divorced. It’s time to take care of your post-divorce checklist.

Remember that this can still be overwhelming when you need guidance and support. Our goal is to help you navigate this transition quickly and confidently.

In this post, we will break down the crucial tasks to help you start a new chapter in your life.

So, let's dive into your post-divorce checklist and empower you to take control of your future.


Understanding Post-Divorce Transition

First, what do you have to do after divorce, and why to have a post divorce checklist?

For starters, know that successful post-divorce is the final stage of a financially responsible divorce.

To make it easier, consider this transition as a long-distance trip. You are a driver, navigating a journey from point A to point B when you don’t know the area.

Would you like to arrive at the point of destination safely and avoid detours?

For this, you need a well-crafted and detailed roadmap, which is precisely why you need a post divorce checklist. It reveals hidden paths and crucial landmarks of your financial stability. It will also help you through the unknowns of establishing a secure budget, asset division, and your new economic identity.

Second, your post divorce checklist helps you to avoid costly mistakes.

Next,  it is not just the post divorce financial journey. Moving after a divorce, it would be best to turn it into a quest for stability and prosperity, where each checked item becomes a triumph worth celebrating.

Another critical point: post-divorce transition requires you to be diligent and focused. As a result, you will secure and empower your financial future.

But before you start your quest, know the three most prominent landmarks on your roadmap.

What are they?

Legal and Financial Considerations

Legal and financial considerations are your post divorce checklist's most prominent landmarks.

It ensures that you protect your rights, assets, and financial stability. For example, you can establish a fair and secure future by addressing legal matters such as child custody, alimony, and property division according to a settlement.

But what if you don’t have a post divorce checklist?

As a result, you can easily make costly mistakes. 

Look at the example of Betty, who failed to remove her ex-husband as a primary beneficiary on her life insurance policy. She forgot to do it, going through the high emotions of the divorce proceedings. 

Tragically, Betty passed away unexpectedly a few years later. Her life insurance payout, intended to support her children financially, ended up going to her ex-husband instead. This mistake left her children without financial protection and added unnecessary complications to a challenging situation.

Learn more about alimony insurance and how to protect your money.

This example shows that you should be vigilant about financial details post divorce. That is why you should seek professional advice from a financial advisor specializing in divorce and post divorce. They can provide guidance and support during this process.

And now, more about money matters...

What Is The Financial Checklist After Divorce?

You might wonder how long does it take to recover from divorce financially.

It all depends... And as with other areas of post divorce transition, you should be very attentive to your finances.

Remember that going through a divorce often involves significant financial changes. So pay attention to how to implement your post divorce matters in advance; weeks to settlement is final. And it is especially crucial when it comes to money... 

By this time, you probably have all the final touches on your post-divorce financial checklist to help you in the following areas:

  • Assets and Investments
  • Credit and Debt
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Estate Planning
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Taxes

Of course, remember that individual circumstances can vary, so it's advisable to consult with a financial advisor for personalized advice.

In addition, you should know that people who do not think through how post-divorce life will actually work commonly end up back in court for post-divorce modifications. And this is very expensive. 


Let's chat to see what works for your unique situation.

The next landmark?

Custody and Co-Parenting

Do you have kids?

If yes, I am sure your children’s well-being remains a top priority for you and your ex. Also, I am sure you both plan to play a meaningful role in their lives. Here, a successful post-divorce transition is critical for each of you individually and as a couple.

Next, effective co-parenting involves open communication, cooperation, and flexibility to create a nurturing and stable environment for children. Shared custody arrangements provide children with a sense of security and continuity.

For sure, you don’t want any friction here.

Also, you'd like to participate in custody and co-parenting discussions actively. This will foster positive relationships with your children and promote their emotional and psychological development.

Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D., giving tips for successful co-parenting after a divorce, indicated that "...the benefits will be seen in their [children's] success at school and in their secure relationships, good coping strategies, stable mental health, and positive relationships with each of their parents. This is what all parents hope for, and what children need to thrive in life."

So, prioritizing custody and co-parenting helps your children become emotionally healthy and resilient adults. It will also help you navigate post-divorce challenges while providing your children with a healthy and supportive environment.


There is more work ahead.

Emotional Healing

You just went through hell; wounds are fresh, but you need to move with your life. That’s why you should focus on emotional healing to regain self-esteem, participate in personal growth, and adequately address pain or anger.

How you can do it?

To help you with this healing process, community is essential.

You should actively engage in a process—through post-divorce therapy, support groups, self-reflection, or using other resources. And this is how you can better understand your emotions, learn coping mechanisms, develop resilience, and eliminate victim mentality.

Also, going through a post-divorce emotional healing, think about who you want to become.

For example, consider a person who has recently gone through a divorce. If they don’t prioritize emotional healing, they may carry unresolved emotions—anger, resentment, or grief, into their future relationships.

In turn, you might develop post-divorce depression, which can lead to a complete cycle of negative patterns:

  • Impact your well-being
  • Hinder professional and social growth
  • Affect co-parenting relationships
  • Impact the children's emotional well-being
  • Cause indifferent attitude to your financial success
  • Prevent you from moving forward after a divorce

On the contrary, actively engaging in your emotional healing will make you emotionally resilient. And this is the foundation of how you have healthier relationships, improve your decision-making ability, and overall, have a more positive outlook on life post-divorce.

So, you may need help to trust others, build meaningful connections, or fully engage in post-divorce relationships. That's why it is crucial that you get post-divorce counseling if you need it.

Read more about strategies to help you cope during and after a divorce.

Now, it’s time for a post-divorce checklist of key steps.

Post Divorce Key Steps

1. Review Legal Documents

  • Update legal documents, including your will, power of attorney, and health care proxy.
  • Remove ex-spouse as a beneficiary from life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial instruments. Pay special attention to any accounts that will be reported to credit bureaus.
  • Re-title any vehicles in your name alone.
  • Comply with your court-ordered obligations (alimony, child support, division of assets and liabilities

2. Assess Your Financial Situation

  • Create a new budget reflecting your new financial situation. Ask a financial advisor for help.
  • Establish individual bank accounts and close joint accounts.
  • Get a credit card in your name and start building your individual credit. Pay it off each month.
  • Set your financial short and long-term goals.
  • Understand the tax implications of your divorce settlement.
  • Verify eligibility for spousal benefits if applicable.

3. Update Important Records and Documents

  • Update/create your estate plan, living will, and healthcare proxy.
  • Check and update credit reports to reflect individual financial standing.
  • Notify your employer to change company records. 
  • Fill out a new W-4 with your new tax withholdings and filing status.

4. Settle Custody and Co-Parenting Arrangements

  • Prioritize the child’s best interests
  • Be flexible and willing to adapt
  • Attend co-parenting classes or counseling.
  • Stay informed about the child’s activities.
  • Have consistency and routine.
  • Utilize technology.

5. Prioritize Your Emotional Well-being

  • Seek emotional support through therapy or support groups.
  • Focus on self-care and well-being.
  • Establish a routine that supports your mental and emotional health.

6. Career and Education

  • Explore career development opportunities or further education.
  • Update your resume and professional networks.
  • Evaluate the impact of career choices on your new financial situation.

7. Seek Professional Support

  • Contact an attorney for any legal post-divorce issues.
  • Get help from a post divorce financial advisor to manage your income and investments.
  • Find a therapist to help with emotional healing.
  • Consider vocational specialists for your career needs.


Of course, your situation might be unique, and the above post-divorce checklist might not address all of your needs. However, it can better prepare you legally, financially, and emotionally.

Also, having a checklist ensures you don't overlook crucial aspects such as updating your legal documents and revisiting your financial plans. Remember that post-divorce mistakes can be costly.

Additionally, making smart financial decisions for women going through a divorce and post-divorce is critical. So seek professional advice and educate yourself. You should know your financial options.

In summary, a post-divorce checklist will help you to:

  • Navigate a complex process.
  • Ensure no critical steps are forgotten or overlooked.
  • Stay organized and focused on key areas
  • Take control of your new circumstances
  • Make informed decisions that align with your goals
  • Create a solid foundation for your future

One last thing: a post-divorce checklist helps to successfully navigate your post-divorce if you want to lay a solid foundation for your new life.

Can you afford to mess it up?

👉 Let's have a 15-minute coffee chat!

Be financially fearless!

Barry Giske