Have you ever wondered if a divorce is always final or whether a divorce judgment can be “undone” or “modified?” The short answer: Like everything else, it depends.
In general, divorce and divorce judgements are final. You can’t “undo” a divorce, so to speak. The finality of a divorce is critically important. Imagine the horror if your spouse was suddenly able to reverse the divorce decree and you found yourself still married!
Why would you want to undo divorce decrees in the first place? Common reasons include:
You reconciled after all
You didn’t like the trial judgement
You believe the terms of the final divorce settlement were unfair
Christine Fletcher is back to provide more of her knowledgeable estate planning advice. Her help is always welcome but especially this week as I’m on vacation 🙂
Last week Nancy posted about the importance of updating your estate plan after you divorce. Unfortunately, I have seen the effects of what not doing this can have on a family. Many clients are so drained, both emotionally and financially, from a divorce that they find it difficult to deal with anything else. Or perhaps, having an ex-spouse named in a will as an executor or as a beneficiary is the last connection to that person that you are having trouble severing. But it is important to understand the effects that not updating your estate plan will have.
If you have a will or trust that predates your divorce and names your now ex-spouse as a fiduciary or a beneficiary, some states will treat that spouse as if they predeceased you or refused to accept the asset. The same may apply to ex-spouses named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement plan. However, not all states take this approach. You need to check … Keep reading
If your divorce has just ended, you probably feel like you NEVER want to talk to a lawyer again. However, there are a number of financial steps you should take after you divorce, and one requires a lawyer:You need to change your estate plan, or if you don’t have one, create an estate plan.
Not only does this require good professional assistance, it costs money. Maybe money you feel you can’t spend because you are now “divorce poor.”
I get that. The divorce process drains you of energy and time and money.Regardless, you are at a new beginning and you need to get this one piece done right.
In addition, and it might not happen as part of your estate planning, you need to be sure you have dealt with the possibility that something might happen to your adult (over age 18) unmarried children as well. We tend to assume that when children leave the nest that’s it. In tragedy, it often isn’t.
Divorce is an ending, but it is also a new beginning, and with all new journeys it is good to have a road map. Here are 5 simple things that EVERYONE needs to do post-divorce.
1. Create a master list of tasks and times for actions as set forth in your divorce agreement or divorce judgement. We do this for our clients as a regular matter, but many lawyers don’t. It’s important to be mindful of when actions need to be done, as in transferring title, paying your ex, exchanging belongings, deeding property and dividing accounts. Enter into your calendar when to expect payments or when you need to make payments. If you can automate paying support by direct deposit or payroll deduction, do so.