A divorce ends with a Court Order declaring you to be a single person with all its rights and privileges. Despite being legally single again, you will likely still need to tie up loose ends. Here are a few things you should make sure you address after getting a divorce:
(1) Updating Beneficiaries: You will need to update your beneficiaries on your financial accounts. Accounts like your 401k, IRA, and life insurance policies all have named beneficiaries that control who gets the proceeds from the accounts when you die. These accounts should be updated as you likely named your ex-spouse as a beneficiary. You need to update the beneficiaries even if the court order or stipulation states that your ex-spouse is no longer a beneficiary on these accounts. However, sometimes a court order or stipulation states that a spouse shall remain a beneficiary on an account; if this is the case, you should contact an attorney before changing the beneficiary on the account.
(2) Child Support: You should set up a case with Collection Services Center (“CSC”) and make your child support payments to CSC. An order can be entered and sent to your employer so that your monthly child support payments will be taken from your paycheck and sent straight to CSC.
(3) Joint Accounts: For the accounts you were solely awarded in the divorce, you should remove your ex-spouse from the accounts or close the accounts.
(4) Joint Credit Cards: You should close all joint credit cards.
(5) Vehicle Titles: You should apply for new vehicle titles for all vehicles awarded to you in the divorce and ensure the correct name is listed on the new title. You should also remove yourself from any vehicles awarded to your ex-spouse to avoid any liability associated with your ex-spouse driving a vehicle that is titled in your name.
(6) Qualified Domestic Relations Order: Many times a retirement account is split between the parties to a divorce. To split these accounts a QDRO may need to be filed with the Court and sent to the appropriate financial institution so that the retirement is properly split.
This list contains some of the items you might want to address after a divorce is final. You should contact an attorney to ensure you have tied up all loose ends after a divorce.
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