Many divorces are finalized first thing in the New Year for various reasons, but most often for tax purposes. Like the New Year, a divorce may provide a fresh start but it can still be an overwhelming and emotional time. In fact, after your divorce is finalized it is typical to feel like you have a million things to do, but you may be unsure of what actually needs to be done or where to even begin.
Here are a few things you may want to consider adding to your “To Do” list once your divorce is finalized:
- Close or removed your ex-spouse’s name from any bank accounts or credit cards in both your name and your ex-spouse’s name. You should check with each institution to see what they require.
- Pursuant to the Marital Settlement Agreement filed in your case, you may need to obtain life insurance naming your children, or a trust for the benefit of your children, as the beneficiaries of the life insurance policy. Be sure to do this as soon as possible and provide verification of the policy to your former spouse.
- If there are vehicles titled in both names as “and” rather than “or”, they should be changed. There are forms at the Motor Vehicle Divisions. You also should contact your auto insurance agent to review the named insured on your auto insurance policy to be sure it corresponds to the revised vehicle title.
- Prepare a Seller’s Affidavit and Bill of Sale transferring the title of the vehicle you were awarded to your name.
- If there is anything else in joint names, it needs to be changed.
- Review and revise your Will, life insurance beneficiaries and healthcare directives.
- If you plan to change your name you will need a certified copy of the Final Decree to take to Social Security Office.
It is important that you understand what you have been awarded. In five years you do not want to try to sell your vehicle and come to realize that your ex-spouse’s name is still on the title. Trying to track them down and sign a Bill of Sale will likely be a headache that neither of you want.
This list may not be complete and it is important that you talk with your attorney about other things that need to be done.
By: Lauren E. Riley