Checklist after Legal Separation in New York

After a legal separation in New York, it is important to re-establish yourself financially.  Follow this checklist to take care of matters after your legal separation in New York:

Open a Checking Account

After you have divided marital assets, you will want to clearly delineate those assets that are “yours” and not “ours.” Establish a sole checking account where you deposit your paycheck and other sources of income to keep it distinct from marital funds.

Update Estate Documents

If something tragic were to happen to you, you likely would not want your spouse to have power to make important decisions, especially if your interests are adverse to his or hers.  Update your will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy and trustee designations, if applicable.  Also, consider who you would want to inherit your life insurance proceeds, retirement account funds and bank account proceeds.  Make sure that any changes you make are permitted under your separation agreement.

Consider Successes and Failures

Carefully consider what has and has not worked since the separation.  Think about any potential changes you would like to make before the divorce is finalized.  This may pertain to your children, such as adjusting the visitation schedule.  It could also pertain to spousal support or property division.

Consult with your lawyer about possible changes.