Even After Your Divorce Is Finalized, There Is Still Much to Do
As attorneys who help a number of clients with divorce here in Florida each year, we frequently discuss all of the many considerations that need to go into getting to a divorce settlement, but what about afterwards? There is still plenty that needs to be done with the assistance of your attorney after your divorce papers have been submitted to the court, as we discuss below:
Changing Your Name & Identifying Documents
If you are changing your last name, you will need to make updates to a number of important documents, such as your driver’s license, passport, social security card, etc. You will want to bring the judgment with you to the department of motor vehicles, passport office, etc. Once these main documents are adjusted, it should be fairly straightforward to change everything else, including bank accounts, credit card accounts, homeowners and auto insurance policies (as well as title and registration for your car), etc. You may also need to open up new accounts in your name only.
Estate Planning Adjustments
You will also want to make sure that you adjust all of your beneficiaries and any other estate planning documents, including your will. You likely have a number of beneficiary forms on file for accounts such as brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts, such as your 401(k), IRAs, annuities, pensions, etc. If you need to transfer portions of any retirement accounts, you will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Also make sure that your will conforms with the terms of your settlement agreement and, perhaps even more importantly, that your healthcare proxy and power of attorney, which names who has control over medical and financial decisions; should you become incapacitated, are adjusted to remove your ex’s name, if applicable.
Home Ownership Documents
Make sure that you make any adjustments to titles and deeds to your home. This will all depend upon the arrangements you and your ex have made through the divorce process; whether that involves selling the home, hanging onto it, continuing to own it jointly, etc. Even if you are continuing the same ownership arrangement you’ve always had, you may need to retitle the deed to reflect that you are divorced. You do not want to be in a situation whereby, 15 years later, you need to sell your home, but your ex’s name is still on the deed as though you are a married couple and they are uncooperative with the process.
Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out How We Can Help
Know that you are not on your own when it comes to making sure that everything is taken care of after your divorce is finalized in order to ensure that your future is secure and, if you are making any property transfers, you and your attorney need to complete them in a timely manner. Contact our Tampa family attorneys at HD Law Partners today to find out how we can help.