A legal divorce can be a lengthy and emotionally exhausting process. Once you’re finally through it, you likely just want to relax and feel a sense of peace as you start a new chapter in your life. Unfortunately, there are still many details pertaining to your divorce that need to be seen to if you want to truly finalize all the details. While these are tasks that you and your ex-spouse must handle, our legal team want to ensure that you know how to proceed once your court case is over. Keep reading to learn some important things you’ll need to do to move forward after your divorce.
Get Certified Copies of the Divorce Judgment
Certain organizations will require you to send them a certified copy of your divorce judgment in order for you to make changes. For example, if you want to change your name on your passport or Social Security card, you’ll need one of those documents. So, it’s a good idea to go ahead and purchase a few extra certified copies of the judgment from the county courthouse where your divorce was filed; doing it now will allow you to proceed with those kinds of changes more quickly.
Fulfill Satisfactions of Money Judgments
Many divorces include money award judgments. This can be in the form of ongoing payments like child support or spousal support orders, or in the form of one-time settlement payments for property, investments, debts, and so on. Once you have fulfilled these money judgments and made your final payment, you should have your ex sign a Satisfaction of Judgment. You can file this form with the court, and by doing so, will inform future lenders that you’ve resolved all responsibility for these judgments.
Transfer Real Estate Titles
If there is any real estate involved in the divorce that is being transferred, you’ll need to make sure you transfer the title for the property. You can do this at the county’s recorder office; the person releasing ownership of the property will need to sign a Bargain and Sale Deed or a Quit Claim Deed, depending on whether the property is being bought by or surrendered to the other person. However, if one of you is refinancing the property, you can skip this; the title will be reassigned through the title company when you refinance.
Update Your Life Insurance
Make sure you contact your life insurance company to update your beneficiaries, marital status, and your insurance levels. If you are a beneficiary on your ex’s life insurance, you can request to be informed of changes to that policy by submitting a letter as well as a certified copy of your divorce judgment.
Change Your Financial Accounts
In your divorce, certain accounts were likely awarded to each of you. Contact your financial institution directly to ensure that you are the only person authorized to use any checking, savings, and credit card accounts you were awarded. You should also remove your name from any accounts awarded to your ex by submitting a form at the bank.
Update Your Will
Most married couples have a will together. Now that you’re officially divorced, you need to reassess what will happen to your assets, debts, and other possessions in the event of your death. Our estate attorneys can help you with drafting up a new will that can protect your estate. We can also help you work with your ex to determine legal guardianship of your children if both of you pass away; this is an important consideration that many divorced couples overlook, but which requires cooperation and agreement between both parties.
Update Your Health Insurance and Directives
Just as with your life insurance, you need to update your health insurance regarding your marital status and the dependents on your health insurance plan. If you were on your ex’s health insurance, you’ll likely need to look for a new provider; be sure to also look into continuation of coverage through COBRA.
Additionally, contact your healthcare providers to update who has authority to make decisions in your behalf if you’re unable to make those decisions for yourself, as well as changing who your doctor can share your medical information with. Most people will name their spouse for both of these issues, so it’s important to change those directives.
At Harr Law, we want to do more than ensure that your divorce is finalized; we want to ensure that you’re armed with the knowledge you need to move forward to the next chapter of your life. Contact us today if you need assistance with a divorce or any other legal matters after your divorce is finalized.