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The Most Important Changes to Make Once Your Divorce Decree Is Final


Going through a divorce is often traumatic enough without also having to worry about all the bureaucratic tasks that also have to be taken care of, both during and after. However, it is crucial that you and your divorce attorney take care of some of these tasks when it comes to what must be done once the divorce paperwork is signed and submitted. This is because your divorce decree alone does not deal with asset and debt division, for example, as we discuss below.

Health Insurance

If you were on your spouse’s health insurance, or if they were on yours, this needs to be adjusted; either by you obtaining your own health insurance, or by notifying your insurance carrier that your spouse must be taken off your policy.

Name & Identification

If you plan on changing your name after divorce, you need to make sure that you not only get a certified copy of your divorce decree, but also change your name on your Social Security card, driver’s license, and any other important identification documents and tools.

Re-titling Assets & Adjusting Debts & Authorized Users

Any assets also need to be re-titled. In particular, if you or your ex plan on keeping the family home, it is very important that the title to the home is changed right away. This will be done through a quick claim deed or by order of the Court. In addition, the mortgage also needs to be changed. Sometimes this requires refinancing, but your attorney and financial advisors can speak with you about other options as well. Keep in mind that if your ex’s name is still listed on the home potential issues could arise in the future.

Titles on any other assets, such as cars, also need to be re-titled, as well as any insurance policies that go along with these items. You can do so through whatever the relevant agency, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as the relevant insurance company.

Similarly, any expense accounts that were shared with your ex also need to be changed, such as credit cards and utilities, for example. Also make sure that your ex is removed as an authorized user on your bank, brokerage, credit, and other accounts, and that you have been removed from their accounts so that you’re not financially responsible; should they fail to pay the bills.

Joint Accounts

Any joint accounts also need to be adjusted. You typically do this by opening your own individual accounts and moving your share of any shared assets into these accounts. You will also want to retitle all bank, brokerage, and other accounts so that they’re listed under your name only.

Retirement Accounts

In order to split up retirement accounts (other than IRA accounts), you will need to work with your attorney to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Splitting up the IRA will typically involve filling out and submitting a specific form that the IRA custodian provides you with. Note that they will also sometimes have you include a copy of your divorce decree.

Beneficiaries & Estate Planning Changes

Keep in mind that your account beneficiaries also need to be changed. This not only includes designations associated with your annuities and IRA accounts, but life insurance policies and all retirement accounts, as well as pay on death, bank, and brokerage accounts. This is part of a number of changes you will need to make related to estate planning, including but not limited to appointing new individuals to act as executors of your will and trustee, as well as financial and health powers of attorney.

Other Changes & Finding The Right Attorney

Part of making all these changes includes changing all of your passwords as well. As you are preparing for your divorce, make sure to contact our Orlando divorce attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law today to find out how we can help.


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