I see a lot of New Jersey divorce attorneys for men offering men and fathers advice about how to navigate their divorce, but there’s not much information about what happens after the dust has settled.
Once their divorce is finalized, many men feel like they’re on their own. This isn’t the case; there are many support groups, organizations, mental health professionals, and attorneys who are ready to help men start over after their divorce.
It’s true that no one can tell you how to grieve your marriage, but there are some things every man should do after his divorce. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and move on after your divorce is finalized.
Change Your Passwords
Whether it’s your online banking account, your Facebook login, or your email password, you shouldn’t continue to allow your ex access to your accounts. If you divorced a narcissist, this is especially important. She will continue to look for any opportunity to make you look bad and make herself look good. If she has access to your email, social media, and other personal accounts, this will be much easier for her to do. And if you’re co-parenting with a narcissist, she may try to twist the photo of your one drink at dinner into a reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to see your child.
Protect Your Credit
Once your divorce has been finalized, your ex shouldn’t have access to any of your finances. After your joint credit cards are paid off, close the accounts and remove your spouse as an authorized user. Keep an eye on your credit report using a free monitoring tool such as Credit Karma, and consider getting an official credit report a few months after the divorce is finalized to ensure you’ve tied up all the loose ends.
Create Your Post-Divorce Budget
This should be one of your top priorities after your divorce is finalized. The assumption that your finances will suffer from the divorce isn’t necessarily true; it will be an adjustment, but you can quickly improve your credit and rebuild your savings account if you stick to a budget. Your spending may have to change now that you’re living off a single income, but you’ll probably have less bills, too (only one car payment to worry about)! Put this all to paper and keep an eye on your finances to rebound from your divorce more quickly.
Revisit Your Estate Plan
This one is another non-negotiable. If you don’t update your estate plan and beneficiary designations, your ex may end up with a share of your assets when you die.
Talk to an estate planning attorney to dissolve your family trust, update your will, and create a new trust that reflects your post-divorce wishes. Also, be sure to update your health care proxy and your power of attorney documents. Otherwise, your ex could be the one responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. Your divorce attorney for men in New Jersey may be able to refer you to an estate planning attorney they recommend.
Make Time for Your Kids
As difficult as this time has been for you, it’s probably been just as hard on your kids. If you’ve been juggling a full time job, a divorce, and parenting for the last several months, you may not have had a lot of fun time with your kids. Now that the divorce is finalized, make the most of your time with them. It also won’t hurt to talk with your kids about how these major life changes are making them feel. Teach them to cope with difficult feelings in a constructive way.
Be Mindful of Your Feelings
Speaking of feelings, don’t forget to check in with yourself from time to time. You’re grieving your marriage and its lost potential, and that’s never easy. Even if the divorce was your best option, it can be a challenge to accept that reality. Don’t neglect your emotions and find a way to practice mindfulness daily as you start this next phase of your life. If you’re really struggling, find a support group or consider speaking to a therapist.
Stay in Touch with Your New Jersey Men’s Divorce Lawyer
Most men and fathers whose divorce has been finalized hope they won’t need their family law attorney’s help again. However, child support and custody issues often come up after the fact, and you’ll need a New Jersey divorce attorney for fathers to help you out with these legal issues.
Keep in touch with your family law attorney by following him on Facebook, connecting on LinkedIn, or subscribing to the firm’s e-newsletter. If you need your New Jersey men’s divorce lawyer’s help in the future, you’ll know where to find him. And if a friend or family member is getting a divorce, you can easily refer him to your divorce attorney.
If you’d like to stay in touch with The Micklin Law Group, you can find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, bookmark our family law blog, or contact us by calling 973-562-0100.