This is the next post in my series discussing post divorce issues every newly single Las Vegan must deal with. My last post described banking issues that must be addressed following a divorce. These include things such as opening and closing accounts and getting new credit cards. In this post I will explain why it is important to make a list of tasks that one’s ex used to accomplish so that one is not blindsided when certain things need to be done.
Even in the worst marriages most partners fall into a routine of each spouse having their “roll” in the marriage. It is not unusual for these “rolls” to fall along gender lines. For instance, a wife may have been dominantly in charge of cooking, cleaning, handling problems with the kids at school, buying the family new clothes, feeding the pets, and getting the kids ready for school. A husband may take the lead on paying bills, fixing things around the house, keeping up with yard care, taking out the trash, and handling tax issues. Of course these rolls vary from household to household. The important thing to acknowledge is that during your marriage there is likely certain tasks your ex took care of that you have not had to do or think about in a long time. No matter how stormy the end of your marriage was, it is important to face what your partner used to be responsible for head on, so that important issues to not become neglected.
The easiest way to do this is to begin to take inventory of all of the needs in your new life. Begin with your residence; if you are continuing to live in the home you shared with your ex, now is a good time to find out what your maintenance issues are. Make a list of any repairs that need to be made. Make a list of scheduled maintenance needs, such as how often the gutters need cleaned, the yard needs tending to, palm trees need trimmed, etc. Make sure all utilities and vendors are switched over to your name. If you have moved into a new residence, make sure you have a list of emergency contacts, such as plumbers, electricians, etc. in an easily accessible place.
Move on to making a list of daily chores and routines that need to be handled regularly. Include in your list cooking, vacuuming, dusting, doing the dishes, doing the laundry, etc. Write down any regular errands that need to be handled such as going to the bank. If your ex used to handle any of the regular chores it may be best to put yourself onto a schedule. If you do not know how to do something, such as prepare meals, it might be a good idea to take a class or buy some books.
The third important area that many people often do not address are the finances. If your ex controlled the money it is very important to write down all of your bills and make a budget. It is also important to learn to handle your taxes, pay bills, and address anything that needs to be paid annually, such as car registration. Make a list of all of the financial issues that you have not been responsible for in a while. If you do not know where to start, ask a friend for help, consult a financial advisor, or find a book that can help guide you.
Following a divorce, many often feel overwhelmed by new responsibilities, particularly if they were married for a long time. Avoiding issues is the worst thing one can do. By making a list, one can get organized, and start regaining their independence step by step.