A divorce might be officially finalized in a morning visit to a courthouse, but the process – both before and after your court date – can be a never-ending list of to-dos. An experienced divorce lawyer can guide you through the pre-divorce proceeding paperwork. Here’s what to keep in mind once the divorce decree is final.
The post-divorce role of family law and estate planning
1. Divide property
A divorce is the legal end to a marriage, but there are usually some loose ends to sort through before the separation is 100% complete. Because property and asset division are usually not settled until the divorce decree is issued, the actual division of assets often takes place after the divorce is settled. The first post-divorce to-do, then, is to divide property and other assets as set forth in the divorce agreement. If you have joint debt that will be split according to the divorce decree, you’ll need to establish a payment schedule for how to handle payments going forward. If additional meditation over property or assets becomes necessary, a family lawyer may be able to help you settle post-divorce disputes.
2. Check and change accounts
Chances are you and your spouse had several shared accounts and things that were in both your names. Make a list of all of the accounts that were shared by you and your spouse, including checking account, retirement funds, car insurance, auto loan, gym memberships, cable, and any other joint accounts, then begin the process of contacting each of the organizations and updating your contact and account information. You should also make sure to update any information that isn’t financial in nature, but part of an important record – emergency contact at work or files on record at your kid’s school.
3. Check your beneficiaries
Most financial services require you to designate a beneficiary in the event of your death. In many cases, this beneficiary is listed as your spouse or even automatically designated to your spouse if no beneficiary is listed. From 401k to life insurance documents, updating your beneficiaries is a key part of the divorce process. It’s also crucial to update your will or living trust. It’s likely that previous drafts of your will included joint assets and asset designations that are no longer accurate. Estate planning is how you can protect your assets and legally ensure your wishes are carried out. Our team can help you streamline the updating process and make a complicated time a little bit simpler and more secure.
Divorce is a life-changing event. You can’t be expected to think of or handle everything by yourself. The Law Offices of Ryan E. Simpson can assist you in completing the most important tasks in your post-divorce checklist, including ensuring that your estate records are correct, making important trust updates, and making sure that you’re not left financially vulnerable.
Our expert estate planning lawyers can help you navigate your post-divorce path and help you secure a solid future for yourself and your family. Call us today for a free consultation – we can help answer questions you have, help you reestablish yourself and your financial future, and help give you security and peace of mind moving forward.