One of the most important things to do after your divorce is to organize and keep copies of all your divorce papers, especially your divorce judgment, in a safe place. That is something you should have been doing throughout the entire divorce process. Why keep documents of unpleasant memories? Because to paraphrase baseball legend Yogi Berra, “a divorce ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Divorce cases can be “deja vu all over again,” as Yogi would say. Many divorce cases involving children don’t end just because a final judgment has been entered by the court. Parties often seek to modify custody, visitation and support orders months, even years after their divorce is final. I must cynically tell my clients who have minor children that their divorce case won’t really be over until their youngest child turns 18 years old. Therefore, keeping detailed records of what happened in your case can make the difference between a favorable or unfavorable outcome in a post-divorce matter.
I recall one case that went back to court over a pension issue 31 years after the divorce was final. Don’t assume that your former attorney has kept your file in a safe and secure place. Attorneys, like all people, retire, move and die. You could end up digging through the Court archives downtown, which is not a very pleasant way to spend the day.
So, if you are going through a divorce right now or just divorced, head out to your local office supply store and buy a folder, preferably with sub-files. You need to begin orgainizing your past to protect your future.