Although there are many reasons people file for divorce, the bottom line is that the single-most important relationship in your life is coming to a close and you have no idea what to do next. In this article we will discuss the 10 things you need to know after divorce.
1. Child Issues
Notify schools or day care facilities of any changes in the pickup or delivery schedule and whether there are any changes in who has authority to pick up the child.
2. Properties Awarded in the Divorce Decree
Record any documents necessary to transfer any titles into your name. You will also need to contact the holder of the mortgage to make certain all escrow deposits and any other benefits accruing from ownership of the property are also transferred into your name.
3. QDRO - Qualified Domestic Relations Order
If you were awarded a portion of a retirement plan, you will need to submit to the plan administrator the necessary qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to transfer their portion into an account solely in your name.
4. Health Insurance
If you had health insurance under your ex-spouse's group employment insurance, you have the right under federal law to convert the coverage into your name in accordance with COBRA.*You only have 30 days from the date the decree was signed to give notice to your ex-spouse's employer and insurance company.
5. Name Changes
If you had a name change in your divorce decree, it is your one opportunity to change your name back to your maiden name or a previous name without being charged for it. Please see address change below to ensure you contact the correct agencies to update your name.
6. Address Change
If your address has changed you will need to contact the following to update your information on their records:
- Department of Public Safety Driver's License Division;
- Social Security Administration;
- Credit card companies;
- Insurance - vehicle, home, life, and so forth;
- Internal Revenue Service;
- Mortgage holders;
- Utilities on residence;
- State licensing agencies;
- Credit Reporting Agencies.
7. New Will
You will need to have a new will prepared to make certain the people you want will receive your assets upon your death.
8. Changing Beneficiaries
Review the payee of the survivor benefits under your 401(k) or other retirement plan.(Sometimes the grant of a divorce will not have the effect of changing the beneficiaries.)
Also Contact the insurance companies on any life insurance policies to make certain all forms have been signed to properly.
9. Financial Accounts
You will need to contact the financial institutions holding your accounts and follow their advice to make certain your ex-spouse's name is not on the accounts and that your ex-spouse has no authority over the accounts.
10. Miscellaneous Items
You should change any computer or phone passwords to ensure Internet privacy.
- It’s also important to contact an accountant to make certain you have everything from the divorce proceeding that you’ll need for preparation of your next tax return.
Divorce is never easy. We hope these 10 tips help you move forward after the divorce process.
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