Kentucky couples in the midst of a divorce may look to the signing of the final decree as the finish line in the process. Getting the judge’s signature on the dotted line is a major milestone to be sure, but there is still work to be done afterward. It can be helpful to think of the court order as marching orders for the parties with a list of benchmarks that they have to meet. It is up to the individuals involved, along with their legal advisors, to carry things across the actual divorce finish line.

It pays to have an action plan designating in writing what is to be done by whom. If property must be sold, someone has to retain a realtor. If retirement assets are to be divided, someone must coordinate with plan administrators. If child support or alimony is to be paid, the manner in which it will be paid must be articulated. Each party may wish to assemble his or her own team of financial advisors for taxes and investments if assets have been managed jointly during the marriage. New health insurance policies may be in order.

Individuals wanting to change their names must be prepared with a certified copy of the divorce decree, so keeping a copy of this document on hand is prudent. Canceling joint accounts is a priority as is the establishment of individual credit. Divorcing couples should review estate-planning documents to change property holdings and formally disinherit one another. Failing to do so will leave heirs with a legal headache. Likewise, life insurance beneficiaries should be changed unless otherwise ordered by the court.

There are a lot of bases to cover in planning for post-divorce life. An experienced family law attorney who looks past the litigation to help create a smooth transition to singlehood can be incredibly beneficial during a stressful and turbulent process.

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