What You Must Do After Divorce

Signing documents

Congratulations, your divorce has been completed at last! No more legal paperwork, no more court hearings, no more communicating with your lawyer, and no more fighting.

However, there are still several important matters to take care of before you can start a new chapter in your life. There are still provisions of the divorce decree you must fulfill and you must make sure the financial and legal aspects of your life reflect your new single status.

The following are several things you may still need to address post-divorce:

  • Review the divorce decree - The truth is that many people do not read their divorce decree. A common mistake people make is assuming they know what’s in there. However, you need to ensure that there are no errors. While reading the decree, create a list of your obligations--as well as your ex-spouse’s obligations--and deadlines that must be met on a monthly basis or in a certain time frame.
  • Update your finances - Make sure you close or freeze any jointly held accounts--such as bank accounts and credit card accounts--and remove your ex-spouse’s name as an authorized user. Order new checks containing your name only.
  • Adjust your health insurance policy - If your ex-spouse is on your health insurance, you should inform your carrier (your employer) about the marital status change and have their name removed from the policy. If you are covered under your ex-spouse’s plan, you must obtain your own policy.
  • Inform your employer - There are some aspects of your divorce which relate to your employment. For instance, if you receive health insurance from your employer and your ex-spouse is a beneficiary, he/she can still take advantage of the benefits unless you remove his/her name from the policy. Additionally, a divorce may require the division of your retirement accounts. Lastly, your new single marital status has tax implications, so inform your company’s payroll department.
  • Revise your estate plan - You must update your will and revoke any power of attorney privileges previously held by your ex-spouse.
  • Change your name - If you plan on changing your name back to your maiden name, you must visit your local Social Security office in order to document the name change and receive a new Social Security card. You may also need to get a new driver’s license.

For more information about post-divorce steps, contact Camille Borg Law PLLC today.

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