Protect YOUR Rights. Contact ADAM today.
* Indicates required questions
Name *
Phone # *
Email *
County Where You Reside:
How can we help you? *

What to Do Once Your Divorce is Over

The judgment of divorce has just entered and you are now divorced… so now what?

This is actually a very important phase of the divorce process, and if you’re represented by an attorney, you may want to keep your attorney retained to make sure all the loose ends are resolved satisfactorily.  Having an attorney continue to give you advice can avoid a lot of problems and can help guarantee that things are properly taken care of for you.  It is one thing to have the judgment of divorce state who gets what, but the major assets and property all have a title or some other paper work required to give the judgment its full effect.

For example, your judgment of divorce may require the division of a retirement account, such as a 401k or a pension.  Many divorce orders or agreements call for retirement accounts or pensions to be divided.  Because retirement accounts are governed by federal law, the entry of a separate court order, known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required.  This court order must be drafted and created, signed by the parties, and signed by the court.  The signed court order then must be filed with the court and also sent to the plan administrator for the retirement account.   Some parties procrastinate, and they put off hiring someone to draft the QDRO.  As with many other obligations, procrastination and lack of follow through can have drastic consequences.  Some retirement accounts or pensions have time limits within which QDROs must be entered.  Retirement accounts are valuable assets, and it’s important to take this next step to ensure that they are divided as ordered or as agreed upon, and ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

Regarding marital homes, or real estate, you may have agreed to have your spouse refinance the house and remove your name from the mortgage.  Your wife may be required to pay you your share of the equity.  Or you may be the one required to refinance the mortgage.  If you are the party refinancing — follow through. Failure to follow through can lead to court hearings, attorney fees, and headaches.  Alternatively, if you have agreed to sell real estate and split the proceeds, delay can lead to paying a mortgage longer than necessary.  You will want the advice of an attorney through this part of the process.

At the completion of a divorce, you generally also have to close all joint bank accounts and close all joint credit cards. Failure to timely close these accounts leaves you exposed to additional debt in your name, being cheated out of funds, and credit consequences.  It’s best to take care of all financial matters right away, and get your questions answered by an attorney where necessary.

You may also need to deal with titles to vehicles and other property that need to be transferred, once the divorce is final.  It’s best to take care of this right away to avoid future confusion, liability and problems.

Regarding your children, it is not uncommon for one parent to just let the other parent handle a majority of the school issues or doctor visits. Once a divorce is entered, the parent who wasn’t as involved before is now in a position to step-up and get involved.  If you have joint legal custody, this means that you have access to school and medical records of the minor children.  This also means you share jointly with your ex-wife all important decisions related to the minor children.  Upon the entry of a decree, it’s important for parents to go to their children’s schools, doctors, and care-givers, and let them know who you are and that you want to be included on any communications between them and the parents.  You should make sure you are on the emergency contact list for these care providers.  It’s best to count on these places directly for information, and not rely on your ex-wife or children to provide information.

With school age children, you may also want to review their school calendar.  It’s good to be aware of holidays and days off when you are looking at a parenting time plan.  Your children may have some days off that you were not aware of, and you may want some of those days off as time you can spend with your children.

If you have a will, a trust or a life insurance policy, it will be important to update or amend it so that you have updated your beneficiaries and otherwise done proper planning.  A lot of potential cost and hassle can be avoided by updating these documents right away.  You will want to have an estate planning attorney review and updated your estate plan and give you advice on how to proceed now that you are divorced.

Tax exemptions are another issue that can come up later if not taken care of right after the divorce is completed.  Be sure that you are clear on who is claiming the children as a tax exemption, and that any necessary paper work is completed, signed and filed.

Ultimately, while a Judgment of Divorce can feel like you’ve crossed the finish line, in many respects you are just entering the final stretch. Don’t let the decree lull you into procrastination. Take the final steps and ensure you have the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed so that your dissolved marriage really is a thing of the past.  If you need help, contact an ADAM attorney to get the job done.

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men.


I Don’t Want a Divorce

I Don’t Want a Divorce Your wife is talking about divorce, threatening divorce or has filed for divorce, but you do not want your marriage to end. “I don’t know how this happened” is a phrase we hear often. What do you do?...


THE DREADED “D” WORD: A THERAPIST’S THOUGHTS ON TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT DIVORCE GUEST BLOG: Toby Nicole Beach, LMSW Therapist and Family Educator Miriam and Bob were a couple that had come to me from Robert, a...

Divorce Urban Legends

Divorce Urban Legends  There is a lot of information about divorce circulating out there. Depending on your source, and when taken in the proper context, some of it is accurate. Unfortunately, much of it isn’t, and it’s often...

Ten Things You Should Ask Your Divorce Attorney

Ten Things You Should Ask Your Divorce Attorney The first time you contact a divorce attorney may feel overwhelming and somewhat intimidating not knowing what to expect or ask. It’s difficult to know where to start, and you may not be...

Divorce and the Mail

If you are in the beginning stages of a divorce, it is typical to be suspicious of each other about a lot of things including missing mail. Having information about bills, accounts, taxes and many other issues is crucial to not only knowing where...


It’s an unpleasant fact of life, but many of us have racked up a significant amount of debt. We’ve got student loans, mortgages, car payments, credit card bills, and more. When you marry, you start amassing debt for two - even more if...

What Happens to My House in a Divorce?

Many divorcing couples wonder about the division of property when they own a home or maybe more than one home.  What do you do with the house?  There are typically three options.  The first is for you to keep the home; the second...

What About Dating?

Does dating really have an effect on the divorce process?  You can probably conclude that it is not a good idea for several reasons. First of all, let’s discuss the law.  Technically, it is illegal in Michigan to have an...

Do Facebook Posts Matter in Divorce?

As divorce lawyers we are often asked about the use of Facebook and other social media preceding and during a divorce.  What you post on social media, like Facebook or Twitter, is relevant to the divorce process and can harm you. Our advice...

How To Keep Your Separate Property Separate

One of the most heavily litigated issues in divorce cases is deciding how, if at all, a party should get credit for his or her separate property.   When dividing assets in a divorce case, Michigan law first calls for the analysis of what...

How to Survive a Divorce Settlement Meeting

At some point during a divorce case, you may be facing a four-way meeting, sometimes referred to as a settlement discussion.  Your attorney may suggest this meeting, or your wife’s attorney may suggest it, but either way there is a good...

Proposed New Law- The Michigan Shared Parenting Act

Reflecting changes in family dynamics and many other factors, the Michigan Legislature is at it once again in trying to overhaul the way in which custody and parenting are determined in family court.  Numerous proposals have arisen over the...
Page: 123456 - All
Aggressive, Diligent, and Uncompromising Representation CALL 248-356-ADAM (2326) TODAY