A Post-Divorce Checklist

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A Post-Divorce Checklist
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 5/23/2022


When your divorce case closes, you may feel exhausted. Even a simple dissolution may be emotionally taxing, and case closure may feel like an opportunity to finally relax. While the light is shining at the end of the tunnel, there are additional steps required to put your dissolution behind you completely. So, where do you start? Here is a list of ___ steps you should review after your divorce.

  1. Review, organize, and file your divorce orders – Ignorance is not a defense in the law. You are responsible for understanding your final divorce orders and following them properly. If you lose or otherwise aren’t following the orders, you may be held responsible. Ask your attorney to explain any section you don’t understand and then file them responsibly to access them as needed.

  2. Act on Real Estate – If you and your partner owned real estate jointly, it is likely title transfers and mortgage refinances are in order. Your attorney may be able to help. Regardless, filing Quit Claim Deeds with the county recorder and working with a mortgage broker is a typical step.

  3. Set Up Autopay – Child Support and Spousal Maintenance are usually paid monthly. Delays or non-payment could lead to Contempt and sanctions. Most banks can set up autopay features to help reduce your monthly workload. Otherwise, set a calendar reminder to send out payment each month.

  4. Speak with Account Representatives – Life insurance, bank accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, stock accounts, etc. are usually set up with joint owners and payable on death beneficiaries. Your divorce order will outline which spouse keeps each account. Working with your ex-spouse to transfer financial accounts is step one. Don’t forget to change your primary beneficiaries on these accounts either unless you want your spouse to receive a welcome surprise if you pass away.

  5. Name Change – Changing your name during a divorce is simple. It is usually made a part of the final divorce order. Once changed, you still need to alter your name on your accounts and legal documents. Make sure to update your driver’s license, passport, social security, Medicare, and other ownership documents.

  6. Financial Planning – Many newly divorced spouses have not been part of their prior financial planning. Maybe you are suddenly receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of your home. Either way, if you’ve never been financially independent before, you may want the help of a financial planner to help ensure your financial future.

  7. Ensure Spousal Compliance – While the divorce orders are the default and enforceable in Court, parties may informally agree to changes to fit their lives. If changes aren’t agreed, failure to comply should be acted upon quickly. Keep track of violations from your ex-spouse because documentation is key in Court.

If your ex-spouse fails to live up to their agreements, working with an attorney may be the quickest way to set things straight. The experienced legal team at the law offices of Magnuson Lowell, PS are ready and available to help you with your post-divorce questions. Call today for a free case evaluation.

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