Post Divorce Checklist
Once the Judge signs your divorce judgment, there are still some loose ends for you to tie up. Your Judgment spells out the terms of your divorce, but, it does not take care of it all for you, there are actions that you have to take to effect your new status and the status of your financial future. Below is my checklist to get you started so that there are no surprises later on down the road.
If you are going back to your maiden name, you will need to bring a certified copy of your judgment to Social Security and the DMV, you will also want to notify the IRS and Vital Records to obtain a new birth certificate. Don't forget to also update your Passport.
If you had a Living Trust/Will or other important estate planning documents you will need to have new documents prepared with updated information. Talk with your spouse, if you have minor children you will want to make sure you both agree on guardians for your children.
Update your benificiaries for all of your financial accounts (mutual funds, 401(k), bank accounts or any other financial institution).
Update your emergency contact information with your work, gym, doctor's offices etc.
If you were awarded property in your settlement, take the time to prepare and record the deed to the properties now.
The same goes for other property like vehicles, accounts, debts (cc, loans) get those in your name, and make sure your ex takes care of the same on his end.
If you or your spouse was awarded a retirement/pension plan be sure to get the Qualified Domestic Relations Order completed in order to comply with your Judgment.
Check your credit report, this will make sure you know where you stand with your credit score and what is reported. If there are any joint accounts still listed with a zero balance, close those accounts. Be sure that the account is transferred according to the Judgment.
Talk to your financial planner to make new plan for retirement, unexpected illness or disability so that you are in control of your financial future, and you now what it will take to live comfortably when you are older and ready for retirement.
Talk to your CPA. Make sure you understand the tax consequences of your divorce, and other considerations that you need to take moving forward now that your tax status has changed.
Hopefully this list helps layout some important items that need to be taken care of after your divorce is final. If you need a legal document assistant, please feel free to contact my office for a free in person consultation in my Pleasant Hill office.