divorce has been finalized, you can now take a deep breath and appreciate the
fact that it is time to start a new chapter in life. However, there are
certain things you still need to address to fulfill the obligations of
the divorce decree and ensure you are financially on the right track.
The following is a post-divorce checklist you must complete before you
can finally move on:
Review your divorce agreement – Read your divorce decree, then read it once again to make sure
you didn’t miss any obligations you still need to complete. Create
a list of the items you and your spouse still need to accomplish. It is
best to complete your list within a month.
– If you’re responsible for paying alimony or child support,
consider these payments your new expenses. Keep in mind, child support
ends once your child reaches adulthood and alimony doesn’t last
the rest of your life. If you will receive alimony or child support, you
still need to take into account the possibility of your ex-spouse failing
to make payments and figure out how you can stay financially afloat.
Cancel and close joint accounts – If the joint accounts you share with your ex remain open, it is
possible that he/she could overdraft or run up charges on credit cards.
Cancel and close all joint accounts that both of you share. If there is
a balance on an account which still needs to be paid off, you can request
the bank or credit card company to temporarily suspend the account to
prevent any charges in the future.
Open new accounts – You need to open new bank accounts, credit cards, and investment
accounts under your own name. If the divorce has caused your finances
to take a significant hit, a credit card can provide temporary financial
assistance to help you get back on your feet. Additionally, you can open
a credit card to start rebuilding your credit score.
Change deeds and titles – If your divorce decree requires the execution of a quitclaim deed
to transfer the interest in a property or change the titles to your motor
vehicles, have these documents ready.
Change insurance policies – Whether you and your ex-spouse share auto insurance, health insurance,
and/or life insurance, you need to contact your insurance adjuster, change
the beneficiaries, and update your personal coverage.
Create a new estate plan – Now that your ex-spouse is out of the picture, you must update
your will, living trust, power of attorney for finances and health care,
and other estate-related documents.
Review your retirement accounts – Ensure the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is entered and in
effect to ensure the transfer has been made. You may also need to reassess
your retirement goals to make sure you’re still on the right track.
Change your name – Change your name with social security in order to obtain a new driver’s
license and other new documents. You must also notify all of your creditors
of the name change.
Once you completed everything on your post-divorce checklist, you avoid
suffering any legal and financial headaches in the future. Now you are
able to focus on the healing process. If there is anything you need to
address, you can
contact our Orlando divorce attorney at
R. Gregory Colvin today.