Once the divorce papers are signed and you are officially single, it can feel like a weight is lifted and you are finally able to embark on a new beginning. However, there are still some details you should take care of to make sure your brand new start in life is exactly that. The last thing you want are loose ends to cloud up what should be a clean slate.
To help ensure you are able to move forward without running into your past, here are some important steps you should follow:
Follow Through on Property Settlement: If your divorce attorney did a thorough job, you should have a divorce decree that clearly lays out the division of property for you and your former spouse. Pricey items like the home or a car will be the most important and generally require registration within the state, which means you will need to update the ownership information on these items. Any payments that need to be made or collected must be taken care of as well. You might feel tempted to put some of these tasks off, but it is best to ensure everything is appropriately separated as soon as possible and to keep detailed records throughout the process. If you handle this step informally, without solid record-keeping, and something goes wrong, you might end up in court.
Complete Separation of Accounts: Just as you will want to ensure your property is separated, you will also need to close out any joint bank accounts and cancel joint credit cards. Be sure to also notify your employer and update direct depositing and retirement accounts. Additionally, though it might seem like the most obvious thing to do, remember to change all of your passwords. Make sure your new passwords are not easy for him or her to guess.
Estate Planning: If you forget to erase your former spouse from estate plans, this can result in your property being given to him or her upon your death. Update your will by removing your ex. Many of your accounts, such as your retirement accounts, life insurance, social security, and savings accounts, will also need to be updated, removing him or her as a beneficiary.
Child Support: Child support is generally supervised by a government entity, so make sure all your records are in place and that your ex-spouse has the correct address to facilitate back and forth correspondence. You should also remember to notify anyone who regularly interacts with your children. For example, the school and daycare facility your children attend should know to share information with both you and your ex-spouse instead of letting them assume you are still working together.
Change Your Name: Not everyone chooses to change their name after a divorce, but if this is something you would like to do, remember to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security, your employer, and any financial institutions you deal with.
San Diego Divorce Attorneys
At Cage & Miles, our San Diego divorce attorneys can help guide you through the steps of your divorce in the most respectable way, limiting court involvement and minimizing litigation exposure. Regardless of how complex or straightforward your divorce proceedings may be, our skilled and experienced team of divorce attorneys have the depth and knowledge to assist you during this challenging time. We have successfully represented individuals in a wide range of family law matters, including contested and uncontested divorce, child custody, property division, spousal support, and more.