The following is a list of things you may need to do once the divorce is completed. However, since you should be using the time during the divorce to prepare for your life post- divorce, you should review the list now to plan ahead.
1. Change names on the homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, utilities, credit cards, and/or any other monthly bills. For liabilities that your former spouse will be paying, verify that they have been placed solely in your former spouse’s name. Keep in mind that credit card companies will usually not remove a co-signer from the account. You may need to open a new account and transfer the balance to the new account.
2. Execute any necessary Quit Claim Deeds to transfer property and verify that it is recorded properly.
3. Verify that your former spouse has re-financed the mortgage and removed your name from the old loan. If it is your responsibility to re-finance the mortgage, you should provide verification to your former spouse.
4. Transfer Title on any vehicles, if applicable. We recommend that you and your former spouse go to the Secretary of State together to facilitate the proper transfer of all Titles.
5. Change beneficiary designations on life insurance, retirement accounts, employer sponsored pension/retirement plans. Even though the Judgment provides that your former spouse’s rights as a beneficiary on your life insurance or retirement plans are extinguished, many insurance companies and retirement plans will still pay the beneficiary listed on the policy.
6. Follow up with your attorney and make sure that any QDROs or EDROs (Special Orders which are required by federal law to divide a retirement plan or pension) have been prepared, entered with the court and submitted to the plan administrator.
7. Update and revise your estate plan. You will need a new Will, Living Will and/or Powers of Attorney.
8. Obtain necessary signatures and submit all forms needed to change account registrations (e.g. bank account from joint to single).
9. Obtain necessary signatures and submit all transfer paperwork for investment accounts and non-qualified tax deferred accounts. Most investment companies have the forms on their web sites.
10. Purchase health insurance or obtain COBRA for continuation health insurance from your spouse’s employer.
11. Exchange tax and financial documents from the last six years of your marriage with your former spouse so that you each have that information in your files.
12. Verify the health insurance coverage for the children.
13. If the Judgment provides that you are changing your name, complete necessary paperwork with the Social Security Administration and the Secretary of State.
14. Arrange life insurance to serve as security for child support or spousal support payments.
15. Meet with a financial planner to review and revise your financial plan. If you do not have a financial planner, please contact our office and we can provide you with the names of financial planners who have been recommended by former clients.
16. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure there is no adversarial postings caused by your former spouse or the divorce.