As soon as the divorce is finalized, you can now breathe a sigh of relief because the divorce process is over. This means that there is no more paperwork to file and no more documents to complete. However, there are several steps you need to take to fulfill the provisions of your divorce decree and ensure that the financial and legal aspects of your life mirror your new status as a single person.
The following checklist can be used as a helpful reminder of what still needs to be done:
- Obtain a copy of your final decree and go over each detail. Create a list of monthly payments and deadlines, such as alimony and child support payments, you need to meet.
- Change titles on assets and property, such as motor vehicles and houses. Record such changes with the mortgage and/or loan company.
- Notify your auto insurance company of any changes in vehicle drivers, ownership, and addresses
- Change the name on the utility bills to reflect who is now responsible.
- Change beneficiaries on life insurance, 401k, pensions, and IRA accounts.
- Close all joint bank and credit card accounts and open your own accounts.
- Update your estate plan and prepare new wills/trust documents.
- Whether you are paying or receiving alimony, check to see if your tax withholding should be changed.
- If there has been a division of retirement accounts such as a 401k or pension, make sure a Qualified Domestic Relations Order has been prepared, signed, and certified by the court.
- Get your own health insurance if you have been a part of your spouse’s plan.
- Execute all required COBRA documents to ensure continued health insurance coverage.
- Change passwords to all of your online accounts.
- Change your name with social security.
- Change your driver’s license
- Keep your scheduled visitation times with your kids.
- Seek therapy if you are feeling depressed or in grief due to the end of your marriage.
- Take care of your physical and emotional needs.
Once you’ve completed everyone on your post-divorce checklist, you saved yourself from headaches in the future. Now you are free to get your life back on track. Reach out to your lawyer to ensure everything you need to do post-divorce has been fulfilled.