One of the mistakes divorced people make most frequently is to forget
to do the things their divorce court order requires. For example, your
order may provide that one of you is to assign your rights to the house or
other real estate to the other by quitclaim deed (or in some other way).
Make sure you actually do it.
Did you end up with a
"Qualified Domestic Relations Order" to
transfer interest in one of your retirement plans? Make sure you follow
Did you agree to pay child support? Make sure you actually pay it to the
recipient by the method required under the child support order. If you pay
by check, keep your cancelled checks. Never, never, never pay cash for child
Does the order require you to close a checking account? To pay off a
bill? Do it.
Does the order require that your spouse do something by a certain date,
like remove your name from the loan on the house? Set up a reliable system
so you'll remember to check at that time and make sure it was done.
Now, about your children. If you and your spouse are still fighting, I
recommend that you devote at least the first couple of months to following
the court-ordered schedule exactly, without ever asking for a deviation. If
your spouse asks for one, be as flexible as possible, but you shouldn't ask
for one for the first couple of months.
Just follow the order. This is a critical time for everyone to get
accustomed to your new life as co-parents. Stick to the order. There'll be
plenty of time later to ask for flexibility.
If this has been a cooperative divorce (as most are), you and your spouse
may immediately begin deviating from the court-ordered schedule. That's
cool. Just remember that if you start fighting about something, it's the
schedule in the order that the judge will probably enforce.
By the way, if you're getting to the point at which you're finished with
your divorce and moving on with your life, it's time to think about
executing a new will.