11 Things You Should Do After Your Divorce is Finalized

Posted on October 19, 2016 10:17am
11 Things You Should Do After Your Divorce is Finalized

So, your divorce has been finalized and you’re relieved it’s over. It is at this point that many people would like to not have to think about it for a while, or ever again. While this may be tempting, there are still things that you need to take care of. Take comfort, however – completing these tasks are your first steps into the next chapter of your life.

Once you have received your divorce decree, take some time to review it and ensure that you have resolved all matters related to your divorce. The list below includes some additional things you may still need to address:

  1. Change your name. Do you plan on reverting back to your maiden name? You’ll have to update your name on your driver’s license, social security card, insurance policies, employer records, auto title and registration, and more.
  2. Update your address. If you have relocated after your divorce, you should fill out a change of address form so that your mail is forwarded to your new home. Then, make sure you update your address with your employer, bank, utilities, schools, and other important parties.
  3. Update your beneficiaries. If your ex-spouse was listed as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy, retirement account, or will, make sure you update this information.
  4. Update your tax withholdings. Make sure your tax withholdings reflect your new marital status (“Single” or “Head of Household”).
  5. Update joint accounts. Ensure that you remove your ex-spouse’s name from any jointly held accounts, including bank accounts and credit accounts. Order new checks with your name only.
  6. Open new credit. After closing a joint credit account, be sure to open and use a new account to begin establishing credit in your own name. After a few months, obtain a copy of your new credit report.
  7. Revise your estate plan. You will need to execute a new will and revoke any power of attorney privileges previously held by your ex-spouse.
  8. Update your passwords. Change the passwords of any online accounts you previously shared with your ex-spouse, and/or create new accounts in your own name.
  9. Fill out transfer of title paperwork. Based on your divorce decree, prepare and sign transfer of title paperwork where required.
  10. Make sure you take your spouse off your phone plan. If you and your ex shared a mobile phone plan, either remove your spouse or get your own plan.
  11. Get your own copies of all important documents. Don’t neglect to copy documents you may need later, such as past tax returns or other financial documents. And don’t forget birth certificates, medical/immunization history, social security cards, and passports for your kids.

The above list is a basic overview; your specific situation may require you to take additional actions as well. You should work with a qualified Portland divorce attorney to ensure that everything is taken care of in an efficient and timely manner. We encourage you to contact McKinley Irvin for assistance with post-divorce related matters.

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