Earlier this week, we wrote about the process of attaining financial independence and stability after divorce, with advice on updating accounts and building your credit after your divorce is finalized. We will continue that discussion today, offering a few more good steps toward financial stability following a split.

As in marriage, it is important to develop a comprehensive, detailed financial plan in divorce. Here, it may be helpful to meet with a financial planner to help you determine your income and expenses and to create a budget. It is important to look at both your short- and long-term needs when doing so, considering day-to-day bills and expenses for the former and future expenses such as college and retirement for the latter. In addition, if your divorce settlement included any lump sum payments, you will need to determine how you are going to handle those amounts and how that will factor in to your financial plan.

In addition, it is important that you are keeping close track of your finances in the weeks, months and years after your divorce becomes final, especially those that are related to your split. You may want to create some sort of system to track incoming payments, such as child support and alimony. In the event that your former spouse stops making these court-ordered payments, you will need to provide the court with good records in order to prove that those payments were missed.

Finally, you should remove your former spouse from legal documents such as medical directives and powers of attorney, and change the beneficiaries of your life insurance, will, trusts and the like. This will ensure that your wishes are met even if you are no longer around to fight for them.

Source: Forbes, "Seven Must-Do Steps For Women Who Want Financial Stability Post-Divorce," Jeff Landers, July 25, 2012