Divorcing Nebraska couples may anticipate the signing of the final divorce decree like it is the finish line to a marathon. While reaching the final agreement and getting a court order is a major milestone, there is more to the journey into singlehood. When a judge signs a decree, it is analogous to a general issuing marching orders to be carried out by others with the specter of punishment if disregarded. In order to fully implement the plan for property division and for the parties to protect themselves financially, there are a few key things to address before reaching the actual divorce finish line.

It is prudent to come up with an action plan for implementing the decree prior to signing it. The plan should designate exactly what is to be done by whom. For example, if the home must be sold, someone has to hire a realtor. If retirement plans are to be divided, someone has to contact plan administrators. A small but potentially beneficial thing is to consider automatic bank transfers for child support or alimony payments. This can help limit overdrafts or late payments that have a ripple effect including late fees and impaired credit.

Some of the steps required for post-divorce adjustment are simple. Changing names and addresses for drivers’ licenses, passports, and Social Security cards will require a copy of the divorce decree, so keeping one handy will make things easier. Changing the beneficiary on insurance policies can prevent headaches down the road as can formally disinheriting the former spouse in estate planning documents. Cancellation of all joint accounts is imperative as is the establishment of personal credit accounts for those coming out of long-term marriages without individual credit accounts.

The divorce process can be protracted and is always stressful. Having a forward-thinking family law attorney may make the difference in being able to make a smooth transition into post-divorce life.