What to Do After Your Divorce
A divorce can be overwhelming. It can seem like the process will never end. Even when your divorce has been finalized, you realize there is still more work to do.
While the divorce decree outlines how assets will be divided, it does not actually split up everything. There is additional paperwork that needs to be completed. Plus, some things do not automatically happen just because you got divorced. You’ll need to inform various agencies of your updated marital status and this can be time-consuming. Here are some things to keep in mind once you are officially divorced.
Change Your Name
If you are a woman, you probably don’t want to hold onto your marital surname. Your name appears on your driver’s license, Social Security card, bank accounts, credit cards and more, so be sure to inform all these agencies of your new name. You will need to change your name with your employer as well. This can be a time-consuming process.
Update Medical Insurance
Once the divorce is final, you no longer share health insurance with your spouse unless the court ordered you to do so. If you were under your spouse’s insurance, then you will now need insurance of your own. If your spouse was covered under your benefits, you should take him or her off the insurance by contacting the carrier.
You may need to retitle assets so they are in your name only. For example, if you were awarded the marital home, you will need to update the title through a quitclaim deed. You will likely also need to update the mortgage through a refinance.
The titles of any cars, motorcycles, boats or other vehicles should also be updated by contacting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. You should also contact your auto insurer and update your insurance so it is in your name only.
Split Joint and Retirement Accounts
Any accounts that you and your spouse shared while married will now need to be split. This also applies to retirement accounts. Bank accounts and brokerage accounts will need to be retitled, with the proceeds moved to a new account.
Splitting a retirement account is a bit more complicated. Your lawyer can draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which will be sent to the bank or company in charge of the account. You will also need to send the divorce decree, which will specify how the account is to split. You may need to open a new account for your retirement assets.
Seek Help for Your Divorce
The divorce process does not end when the judge signs the final decree. There are still some formalities that have to be done, especially if there are joint accounts and retirement accounts involved.
If you don’t get your accounts updated soon after your divorce, you could end up paying the price financially. The Dade City divorce attorneys at Madonna Law Group will help you understand all the steps you need to take. To get started, call our office at (800) 557-0411.