While the receipt of your final divorce decree from the court signals the end of your marriage, there is still some work to be done so that you can move on with your life. The following list is not exhaustive, but provides an excellent starting point.
Women generally prefer to revert to their maiden name after the divorce is finalized. Filing for an official name change is not difficult, and your attorney will be able to assist you with the paperwork. Of course, once your name change is official, you’re still not finished. You will typically need to send or show a copy of your divorce decree to numerous agencies, offices, and companies in order to change your name in every aspect of your life. Remember, you will need to change your name for:
· Drivers license and car registration
· Professional licenses
· Social Security
· Internal Revenue Service
· Insurance companies
· Banks, credit cards, mortgage company, student loan provider, and auto loan company
· Library card
· Magazine and other subscriptions
· Associations and clubs
Once the divorce is final, you will want to review your will and other estate documents in light of your life changes. Most likely your former spouse is listed as your primary beneficiary, and the divorce will not necessarily change that. An attorney can assist with the drafting of a new will, to ensure that your estate is properly taken care of and your property will pass to those you want. In addition, you will want to change any final directives and living wills as well, so that your former spouse is not making end of life decisions for you. Finally, review your life insurance policy to make sure that your former spouse is no longer your beneficiary, because a divorce will not affect the policy’s payout.
Most married couples have a number of joint financial accounts. It is important to remember that you need to cancel your joint credit cards, and open new credit card accounts in your own name. In addition, you will need to first open a new bank account in your own name and, with your former spouse, close your joint bank accounts. Your divorce decree will most likely state how the bank accounts will be divided, so that should not be a concern at this time.
It is highly recommended that you obtain a credit report six months after the divorce becomes final. The credit report will allow you to make sure that you no longer have any joint accounts with your former spouse.
If one spouse has been covering the other on medical insurance through employment, it will be necessary to obtain the paperwork for continuation of benefits through COBRA. The usage of COBRA will allow the non-covered spouse to obtain coverage through their own employer or to obtain individual insurance coverage, depending on their needs and financial situation.
While a divorce can be an extremely difficult situation for all of the parties involved, it is important to remember that you have these and other steps to take once the divorce is finalized. An experienced family law attorney can assist with many of these issues, and a financial planner can help with any financial issues that may result from the divorce. The family law attorneys at Santa Rosa Attorney can assist in any aspect of pre or post divorce actions and can be contacted at 707-576-7175