Divorce can be a messy and complicated process, and it can be difficult to keep track of necessary tasks when you are going through it. However, it is very important to ensure that you, your property, and your finances are in good order. By effectively managing your assets, you can protect yourself from any unexpected issues or attempts from your former spouse to take advantage of you. Use this checklist to clean up your affairs post-divorce.
Look Over Your Divorce Agreement
Your divorce decree should be the first place you start your post-divorce checklist. This document will list a number of terms you must honor, such as custody arrangements, alimony and child support payments, and asset divisions. Make sure to read over this agreement carefully and make a list of what you need to complete, as well as a calendar of any required payments.
Review Your Estate Plan or Will
After your divorce, you likely do not want to name your former spouse as a beneficiary after you pass away. Take time to review your will, estate plan, or trust once you finalize your divorce. Reassign your power of attorney if necessary. If you need assistance naming new beneficiaries in place of your former spouse, contact your San Jose divorce attorney.
Close Any Joint Financial Assets
You and your former spouse may have joint credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial assets that you will need to separate yourself from. This is especially important, as you do not want your former spouse’s spending habits to impact your credit score or cause your bank account to go into overdraft. Close these bank accounts and cancel the cards, and apply for new ones at your financial institution.
Clean Up Your Digital Information
If you and your spouse had any joint accounts on social media platforms or other websites, remove yourself from them or delete shared information. Start new accounts for yourself. In addition, make sure to transfer and remove your personal files from any shared electronic devices your spouse may be taking in the divorce. Delete any passwords, financial information, and other shared information stored in these devices before he or she takes them.
Review and Split Your Retirement Plans
Your divorce agreement likely divided much of your financial assets, including your 401(k)s and other retirement plans. Once you receive instructions on how to split your retirement plan, provide this information to your benefits administrators as soon as possible. If you need assistance with this division, contact your attorney.
Review Other Beneficiary Designations
With your divorce finalized, you and your former spouse are no longer legally married. This means that your former spouse is no longer eligible to receive any benefits you provided. Review your trusts, insurance policies, pensions, retirement accounts, and other plans in which your spouse may have been a beneficiary and update them accordingly.
Apply for New Insurance Policies
While you are removing your spouse as a beneficiary from your plans, he or she is likely doing the same with his or her own benefits. Depending on what your spouse was in control of, you may need to purchase new coverage to protect your assets. Look for new medical, car, home, or other insurance as needed.
Change Your Name, If Applicable
If you changed your name after marriage, you may want to visit your local Social Security Office to change your name back. You will need to bring your divorce paperwork to the office, as well as your birth certificate and identification such as a passport or driver’s license. You will need to inform other entities such as the Department of Motor Vehicles of your name change after you visit Social Security.
Completing these tasks can help you protect yourself and your assets after you finalize your divorce. If you need assistance with your handling your finances, property, or other affairs post-divorce, contact your attorney at MTSA Law Group as soon as possible.