As soon as the final hearing has commenced and you’ve signed your divorce agreement, you may feel a huge sense of relief. You are now free to start a new chapter of your life without the burden of court dates, attorney fees, or invasion of your privacy. Everything can return to normal.
However, beginning a new life comes with its own set of obstacles. Additionally, some aspects of your divorce may come back to haunt you.
The following are several, common mistakes individuals make after divorce that can cost them extra, land them back in court, or extend the time it takes to move on:
- Forget to update retirement account, estate, and life insurance beneficiaries – Your divorce settlement doesn’t automatically change them. If your ex-spouse is no longer your beneficiary by operation of your decree, but you have failed to change the designation with your insurance plan, the plan will play him or her, and your estate (or intended beneficiaries) must sue him or her to recover the funds.
- Fail to sign over tilted to deeds and vehicles to real estate – If you wish to sell a vehicle which you and your ex-spouse share ownership for, you will need to track down your ex and hope he or she is willing to sign.
- Ignore court orders – If you fail to obey the terms set forth in your divorce decree, such as failing to pay child support or alimony, you could be held in contempt, resulting in spending time in the courtroom—again. If you have an issue with the orders of your divorce settlement, you can file an appeal or motion to modify. Contempt charges can lead to fines and even jail time.
- Pay alimony and/or child support directly to your ex-spouse – While it may seem like paying support directly to your ex-spouse can help you avoid the hassle of obtaining a court order, if he or she ever decides not to acknowledge the payment, then you will still probably owe the support and may have to pay twice. Rather than paying your ex-spouse directly, use state-run agencies or a third party to keep track of your alimony or spousal support payments.
- Isolating yourself – Finding solace, comfort, and support from married friends and family can be challenging, especially those who may be concerned about taking sides between you and your ex-spouse. Unfortunately, many people often keep their issues to themselves during and after divorce. Shutting down and becoming reclusive will only make you feel worse, resulting in damaging behavior such as excessive drinking or drug abuse. Rather than going into isolation, engage in activities which expand your social circle or reconnect with old friends.
- Dating too soon – Now that you are new to the single life, it can be tempting to immediately jump back into the dating scene. Although it may seem like fun, you need to be cautious of rebound relationships. Getting romantically involved with someone too quickly after divorce can distract you from working on issues you need to resolve. Furthermore, many people rush into another marriage without actually getting to know the person. According to several studies, the rate of divorce for second marriages is even higher than those of the first.
The end of divorce is an opportunity to begin a new life, and you need to treat it as such. If you avoid the common mistakes mentioned above, you can move on successfully without worrying about previous issues.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Illinois, contact Wakenight & Associates, P.C. and request a free consultation with our experienced divorce lawyer today.