Divorce and separation can be emotionally challenging, but it’s crucial to focus on the future and take steps to protect your assets and well-being.
After your matrimonial or de facto property settlement is completed, there are important actions you should take to ensure that you’re on the right track to achieving your goals.
In this article, we’ll discuss 20 things you should do after your property settlement to help you manage your finances, plan for the future, and improve your overall well-being.
1. Update your estate plan to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing.
After your property settlement, it’s crucial to update your estate plan to reflect any changes in your assets or beneficiaries.
This process involves revising your will, potentially creating or reviewing a trust, and updating your power of attorney to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing.
By updating your estate plan, you can provide peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones.
2. Review and update your insurance policies to protect your assets and loved ones in the event of unexpected incidents.
Reviewing and updating your insurance policies after a property settlement is essential to protect your assets and loved ones in the event of unexpected incidents.
This process involves reviewing your life, health, disability, and even household or motor vehicle insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage.
It’s also important to update your beneficiaries and ensure that your policies align with your current needs.
3. Develop a financial plan to help you manage your assets and plan for the future.
Developing a financial plan after a matrimonial property settlement is essential to help you manage your assets.
This process may involve working with a financial advisor to create a plan that aligns with your financial goals and priorities.
It’s also important to review and adjust your plan regularly to reflect changes in your circumstances or goals.
If you wish you can even prepare a budget yourself and there are many free tools online which can assist.
4. Consider refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce your monthly payments.
Refinancing your mortgage after a property settlement can help you take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce your monthly payments.
This process involves working with your lender to renegotiate the terms of your mortgage.
By refinancing, you can save money on interest and reduce your monthly payments, which can help you manage your finances more effectively.
5. Review your superannuation.
Reviewing and updating your superannuation after a property settlement is essential to ensure that you’re on track to achieve your retirement goals.
In particular you should update your nominated or named beneficiaries to avoid the risk your former spouse may have a claim if you pass away.
6. Update your name either informally or on important documents.
It is very common that in a marriage one of the parties in particular, the female spouse, will change her surname.
Sometimes the parties will adopt a hyphenated surname combining their two names.
After separation and finalising a property settlement, one of the things that you should consider is whether you wish to revert to your maiden or original name.
You are able to do this informally at any time after separation occurs, but for important documents such as your driver’s licence or passport, changing the name can be a little more difficult.
If you are married, it may be best to file your divorce application and have the divorce go through as evidence of the name change.
However, some States do allow you to revert to your maiden name on your licence even if the divorce has yet to occur.
You should contact your local government agency in this regard.
7. Explore new career opportunities or educational options to help you advance your career or pursue a new path.
After settlement, it’s an excellent time to explore new career opportunities or educational options to help you advance your career or pursue a new path.
This process can involve researching potential opportunities, networking with professionals in your desired field, and obtaining additional education or training.
By exploring new options, you can open new doors and achieve your career goals.
8. Consider working with a therapist or counsellor to help you cope with the emotional challenges of divorce or separation.
Divorce or separation can be emotionally challenging, and it’s essential to prioritise your mental health during this time.
Working with a therapist or counsellor both during and after settlement has occurred can provide you with the support and tools you need to cope with these emotional challenges.
This process involves researching potential therapists or counsellors, scheduling appointments, and being open and honest about your feelings and concerns.
9. Update your social media and online presence to reflect your new status and protect your privacy.
After a separation and settlement, it’s crucial to update your social media and online presence to reflect your new status and protect your privacy.
This process involves changing your relationship status on social media, updating your online profiles, and adjusting your privacy settings to ensure that only those you trust have access to your information.
By taking these steps, you can protect your privacy and avoid unsolicited attention.
10. Consider pursuing a new hobby or activity to help you focus on your personal growth and well-being.
After settlement, it’s an excellent time to explore new hobbies or activities to help you focus on your personal growth and well-being.
This process involves researching potential hobbies or activities, joining clubs or groups, and dedicating time to your new pursuits.
By pursuing a new hobby or activity, you can find joy and fulfilment outside of your previous relationship.
11. Create a co-parenting plan to help you and your ex-partner navigate your roles as co-parents effectively.
If you have children, creating a co-parenting plan after a property settlement is essential to help you and your ex-partner navigate your roles as co-parents effectively.
This process involves outlining care arrangements, visitation schedules, and communication guidelines.
By creating a co-parenting plan, you can minimise conflict and provide stability for your children.
12. Consider relocating to a new area to start fresh and build a new life.
Some people choose to relocate to a new area to start fresh and build a new life when settlement is complete.
This process involves researching potential areas, assessing job opportunities, and considering the cost of living.
By relocating, you can leave behind negative memories and experiences and create a new future for yourself.
If there are children then the issue of relocation needs to be considered with the children’s best interests in mind and how a move may impact their relationship with your former spouse
13. Review and update your healthcare directives to ensure that your wishes are followed in the event of a medical emergency.
Reviewing and updating your healthcare directives and if needed your power of attorney will ensure that your wishes are followed in the event of a medical emergency.
This process involves revising your Health Directive, if you have one, and ensuring you give your power of attorney to someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your medical wishes are respected and followed.
14. Explain to your children what has occurred.
A property settlement impacts everyone, including any children both under and over the age of 18.
Depending on the children’s age and maturity level it is Important to explain in an unbiased and practical way, what is going to occur , now that the property settlement has been agreed.
This, for example, could involve the sale of the former home and that the parties will need to move elsewhere within a town or community.
There may be a period where money is tight.
The children should know that some luxury ‘s previously available cannot be sustained.
It is also important to explain that there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel and that both parties will re-establish themselves and try and create a harmonious ongoing relationship with the children.
It is not recommended that specific, detailed information about the property settlement is given to children under the age of 18, but rather a more broad-brush approach.
15. Create a support network of friends and family to help you navigate the challenges of post-divorce or separation life.
Building a support network of friends and family to help you navigate the challenges of post-divorce or separation life is simply critical to your wellbeing.
This process involves reaching out to trusted individuals, attending social events and activities, and being open and honest about your feelings and concerns.
By creating a support network, you can receive emotional support and practical assistance when you need it most.
This could even be as simple as having friends help you move.
16. Consider volunteering or giving back to your community.
Volunteering can help you find a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
This process involves researching local organisations, assessing your skills and interests, and dedicating time to volunteer or donate financially.
By giving back, you can make a positive impact on your community and find a new sense of meaning in your life.
17. Take time to travel and explore new places to broaden your horizons and create new experiences.
Taking time to travel and explore new places can broaden your horizons and create new experiences.
This process involves researching potential travel destinations, planning your itinerary, and dedicating time and resources to travel.
By exploring new places, you can expand your perspective and create new memories.
18. Build a routine that prioritises your self-care, including healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation.
Building a routine that prioritises your self-care after a property settlement is just so important to promote your physical and mental well-being.
This process involves assessing your daily habits, creating a schedule that prioritises healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation, and dedicating time to self-care activities.
By prioritising your self-care, you can improve your overall health and well-being leading to you as a better person, friend and parent.
19. Read Read Read- and if not listen to podcasts/audiobooks
Strangely, after separation has occurred, this can leave you with more time than you perhaps previously had , to indulge your mind.
You have the luxury of some great fiction or alternatively, some great learning.
With the advent of both podcasts and audiobooks, you also have a great opportunity to feed your mind and improve your knowledge.
This helps you make better decisions.
There are many great recommendations both online and published including apps and in newspapers as to the best readings podcasts or audiobooks you can undertake.
Do your study and find your passion/s.
20. Consider dating again or building new relationships to find companionship and support.
After a property settlement is a good time to consider dating again or building new relationships which can provide you with companionship and support.
This process involves being open to new experiences, meeting new people, and being honest and open about your desires and expectations.
By building new relationships, you can find love, support, and companionship in your life.
Even a new friend will be a great start.
A property settlement marks the end of a significant chapter in your life and the beginning of a new one.
While the process can be challenging and emotional, it’s essential to take steps to prioritize your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can navigate post-settlement life with confidence, find fulfilment and joy in new experiences, and build a bright and prosperous future for yourself.
Remember, while the road ahead may be uncertain, you can have the strength, resilience, and support you need to thrive.
Geoff Ebert and the team from Your Online Legal Group