Everyone thinks the final judgement signed by the courts is the conclusion of the divorce. However, nothing can be further from the truth. After the final judgement has been entered there are a number of task that each party must finish. At the conclusion of your divorce case, the first thing you should do is obtain several certified copies of the Final Judgment. You must also review the Final Judgment and/or Settlement Agreement carefully with your attorney to ensure that you understand what you must complete under the terms of the Settlement Agreement and/or the terms of the Final Judgment.
- If you are feeling a sense of loss, grief, or depression, then please seek professional assistance or a support group to take care of yourself. A mental health professional often can assist us in processing the difficult emotions that we have that can occur in divorce and family law cases; and
- Take time for some personal self-care. Have a massage, visit a spa, take a short vacation or weekend break. Start doing things that you enjoy. You have been through a hard time and you deserve some joy in your life.
- Close all joint checking and savings accounts as soon as all outstanding checks and automatic payments have cleared the bank;
- Open your own new checking and savings accounts;
- Update automatic payments taken from your accounts with new account information;
- Change the named beneficiaries of retirement accounts and life insurance. Name beneficiaries of any accounts;
- Create a new estate plan, (will, trust, healthcare surrogate, living will, and power of attorney);
- If your divorce or family law matter requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), then follow up with a Plan Administrator to ensure they are notified of the divorce, and that a QDRO is being completed. Remember that some agreements will require the parties to agree upon an independent professional to create the QDRO order. Please review your Settlement Agreement carefully regarding this issue;
- Close all joint credit card accounts;
- Change all passwords for online account access;
- Request a final bill from your attorney and make sure it is paid;
- Obtain final billings from the experts used in your case and ensure that those bills are paid;
- Obtain a copy of your credit report 30 days after the Final Judgement to ensure that all joint accounts have been closed; and
- Close joint safe-deposit boxes and open a new one in your individual name.
- Secure COBRA private health insurance/notify employer of divorce if health insurance was provided through your employer;
- Update auto, homeowner, and flood insurance records/secure new insurance if necessary; and
- Change beneficiaries on all life insurance, disability insurance, annuities, or other insurance policies.
If you have a Facebook account, make sure you change or update the legacy settings on your account. Also check your password and change your password, if necessary. Then check to determine if you have legacy setting on your other social media accounts and make sure that those settings reflect your current wishes.
The above list concerns additional tasks that are not usually included in parenting plans. It is by no means comprehensive, and there may be additional items required in your decree or Settlement Agreement that are not listed above.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your pending or anticipated divorce, then please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312 to schedule a consultation.