15 Jan Top 10 Things to Do Once your Divorce is Final.
#1 – Secure several Certified Copies of your Final Decree. Review all paperwork carefully with your attorney and be sure you understand all that is required of you in the final agreement.
#2 – Take care to change any personal and/or financial information needed. For example: open new checking and savings accounts, update any automatic payments taken from your accounts, change your passwords to all online accounts and your email, open a new safety deposit box in your name only.
#3 – Revoke any Powers of Attorney naming your ex and make new ones. Create a new Estate Plan (Will, Medical Directives, etc.). Change beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies.
#4 – Sign documents to re-title cars, boats, etc. and file for new titles with the appropriate agencies. Record deeds to transfer titles on real property. Notify utility companies of any new names on their accounts and file a change of address or mail forwarding with the Post Office. Update auto and homeowner’s insurance records.
#5 – Update your children’s school and medical records with names, addresses and contact numbers for both parents. Sign up for Family Wizard (or other program recommended) to coordinate parenting contact, schedules, etc. Set up direct deposit or Income Withholding for Child Support payments.
#6 – If you are changing your name, you will need to update your driver’s license, Social Security card, bank and credit card records, employment and insurance records, IRS records and your passport.
#7 – Obtain IRS publication 504 “Divorced or Separated Individuals” to learn info about filing status, exemptions, QDRO’s, etc. Change your withholding allowances on your W4. Execute IRS Form 8332, Transfer of Dependency Exemption, if required to do so in your Final Decree.
#8 – Put together a new budget for your single household. Your financial situation may have changed drastically; knowing exactly where your dollars are going will be helpful as you start over and re-establish yourself.
#9 – See a qualified counselor or therapist if you are feeling as if you cannot move on. Have your children see one, too, if they are having trouble transitioning to having two homes and separate parents.
#10 – Lean on your family and friends who love you. Ask for help when you need it. Have a girlfriend getaway weekend or gather the guys for golf or poker. Make new rituals and traditions for yourself and your kids.