After Your Divorce is Final - by Dale E. Johnson

After your dissolution of marriage decree is entered, there are a number of tasks that should be completed.  Here are a few tasks that generally have to be considered:

1.    See your estate planning lawyer and review your will and any estate planning.  Make sure the life insurance beneficiary designations comply with the final court orders.

2.    See your accountant to review how your marital status affects new withholding and other tax planning.  If maintenance and child support are being paid or received, your tax liabilities will be affected.

3.   If any tax-deferred accounts are to be divided and awarded to you, make sure the final divisions are accomplished as soon as possible.  Some tax-deferred divisions require Qualified Domestic Relations Orders or Domestic Relations Orders in order to be finalized.  It is also critical to update your beneficiary designations with each of your bank, retirement, and investment accounts.

4.   Unless specifically agreed otherwise, close all joint accounts and credit cards.  One of the goals of any dissolution of marriage is separating you financially from your spouse.

5.   Execute all deeds and change of title as soon as possible.

6.   Keep a checklist of all post-decree follow-up tasks and make sure you and your ex-spouse take care of completing all of them.