Monday, May 16, 2016

Ok, Your Divorce is Final. Now What?

The long-awaited day has come. Your divorce is final.  The feelings may be bittersweet, or you may be happy but one thing is certain; a new phase of your life has begun.

After the final hearing, there are a few things that should be done to finish up the transition.
  1. Paperwork should be signed to deed the house (and any other real estate) to the person who was awarded the property in the final decree and it should be filed in the appropriate real property records. 
  2. The proper paperwork should be signed to transfer the autos (and boats, trailers, airplanes, or trucks) to the permanent owner. 
  3. All of the personal items should be split and located with the proper party. 
  4. Bank accounts of all types should now belong only to the person who was awarded them in the decree. 
  5. If it has not already happened, any obsolete joint credit accounts should be closed. 
  6. Paperwork should be started or in progress so that retirement accounts are split. (This may require a separate procedure  from your divorce, talk to your attorney about this. Complexity and time to process varies based on the type of account, employer, administrator, and so on). 
  7. Each person should draft a new will, as a single person.
  8. Any account with beneficiary designations should be updated to show new beneficiaries and life insurance policies should be updated as well. 
It is much easier to take care of these items when the divorce is recent, rather than waiting until years later when cooperation may be lower!  

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