Organizing Your Personal Records After a Divorce

Going through a divorce is stressful, upsetting, and confusing. This is why making sure your personal documents for the divorce are organized is important to help reduce any additional stress. Having your personal records organized can make filing for and going through the divorce process easier and faster than if you did not have personal records ready. This also holds true for after the divorce is finalized. Having your personal records and finances organized can help smooth over the transition. Follow these tips on organizing personal documents to make life after a divorce easier.

  • Establish a financial plan. After a divorce you may experience a change in income, typically a person will experience a decrease in income or now be legally required to share their income. Regardless of whether or not you are gaining or losing money, be sure to set a budget so you are aware of how much money you will have to spend on necessities or fixed expenses such as housing and groceries for the month. Next you can figure out how much money can go towards savings and lastly how much can be spent on leisure activities. Remember, if you have children you may also have to budget for their expenses as well. It is highly recommended that you set aside an emergency fund that could sustain you for 6 months in case of job instability as well.
  • Get ready to change your legal name. In some court cases, the judge may file a request for your name to be changed back to your maiden name, but this doesn’t happen in every case. In order to change your name on your own, you will need to have your divorce decree, birth certificate, and or passport. You must fill out a change of name form, which varies by state. You can often find your state’s downloadable form by completing a search online.
  • Make changes to any personal records that may have previously included your spouse. This includes things like your will, who is your beneficiary for any insurance claims, personal health insurance, joint bank accounts or any other forms of estate planning records.
  • Make new personal accounts such as credit cards, financial investment accounts, or any other personal account your former spouse may have access to.
  • Keep copies of financial records and personal records in case of an issue with the IRS due to joint debt in the future.

No one wants to scramble to get their important records in order when in a hurry. Avoid this situation by having your personal records in order during and after your divorce. If you need any government-issued vital records such as a birth certificate or copy of your divorce records, order them online with VitalChek.

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