Closing the Loose Ends on Your Divorce

Your divorce came and went and you’ve just obtained the final judgment dissolving your marriage. You think that everything is wrapped up and finished, right? Well, almost.

Even after your divorce final judgment is entered, there are still a few odds and ends that need to be finalized so that you may start your life anew separate from your ex-spouse. Here is a checklist of items to take care of:

  • Review your final judgment and marital settlement agreement for deadlines and calendar the dates. The documents might provide that you have to refinance your house by a certain date or execute a quitclaim deed conveying your interest in the marital home to your ex-spouse by a certain date. It’s important to comply with all the deadlines listed or else you might be held in contempt of court.
  • Close all joint accounts. This includes bank accounts and credit card accounts—even if the balance is zero.
  • Change your address if you have moved from the marital residence. Make sure to change it on your driver’s license and passport, as well as with your doctor’s office, post office, financial institutions, your employer, your children’s school, and any other place you can think of.
  • Provide your children’s school with a copy of your parenting plan so the school will know when the children are in the care of which parent.
  • Change your life insurance and retirement account beneficiaries. Most likely, your ex-spouse was listed as the beneficiary of these accounts, so you should contact these companies and request a change of beneficiary form, unless the final judgment or marital settlement agreement requires you to keep your ex-spouse as a beneficiary.
  • Draft a new will or trust to remove your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, executor, or successor trustee.
  • Notify your employer of your divorce. Your health care plan might be affected or you may need to obtain COBRA benefits, so it’s a good idea to let the human resources department know.
  • Change passwords on your electronic accounts, such as email, social media, and other online accounts so your ex-spouse won’t be able to access them.

Taking this action will be a step in the right direction toward getting everything wrapped up, and our experienced Tampa divorce attorneys can help you every step of the way.

Info taken from Tampa Bay Magazine, “Divorced, Now What?” K. Dean Kantaras and Jennifer H. Cavill

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