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Getting organized after your Louisiana divorce

Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. When it's over, you likely want to toss those divorce papers in your safe deposit box or drawer and never look at them again. However, they contain important information detailing the things to which you and your ex-spouse have agreed. Failure to abide by those agreements can have serious consequences for you and your children. Therefore, before you put the divorce papers away, it's essential to record some important information.

If you are getting or giving child and spousal support, note the amounts and the dates it is due. If you or your spouse has agreed to pay for additional things like school or medical care, make a note of those. Failure to pay can cost the person responsible for that support significantly in fines and court costs -- not to mention potential loss of child visitation rights -- a cause financial stress for the other person.

Asset transfers can be another financially-significant part of your divorce settlement. This can include bank accounts, beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and property, just to name a few. Your Louisiana attorney can likely provide a checklist of assets to help ensure that nothing is forgotten.

If you, like most couples, have shared custody of your children, get visitation and custody information into a calendar right away. A computerized calendar with reminders is particularly efficient. Include any events where both of you are expected (or want) to be present, such as teacher conferences, school or sports events and birthdays. If you have an occasion that you want your child to be present for (such as a grandparent's birthday), be sure you note the date by which you have agreed to notify your ex of any changes in the custody/visitation schedule.

Don't forget the various forms on which you need to change your name or emergency contact information, as well as notifications you need to make, both for yourself and your children. This also goes for any bills you are now covering yourself, such as utilities, insurance and car payments. Again, your divorce attorney can likely give you a comprehensive list to help ensure that you don't forget anything.

If your get these things organized early, you will likely can avoid some unnecessary stress and disputes later. This will also allow you to move on with your new life a little faster.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Warrior: Post-Apocalypse Survival Tips" Terri Weiss, Feb. 24, 2014

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