Your divorce is finally over.  You have received the Final Order of Divorce. What next?

  1. Review your Agreement or Final Order of Divorce for remaining action items -Read through your Agreement and your Final Order of Divorce. Are there any remaining action items? Do you have any questions? Is it clear? Now is the time to ask any remaining questions to your attorney.
  2. Transfer title and personal property tax records of all vehicles – Ensure that your vehicle has an updated title with just your name.  Make sure that all personal property tax records show the correct person and the correct county.
  3. Make sure retirement orders or transfers of assets are accomplished – Some retirement assets such as federal government retirement benefits, thrift savings plans, federal employee retirement service (FERS), civil service retirement systems (CSRS),  401(k)s, state retirement benefits, county retirement benefits, defined contribution plans, pensions, annuities, military retirement benefits, must have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or Domestic Relations Order or similar.  Make sure that you have these Orders entered by the Court.  You could permanently lose these assets if Orders are not entered and your spouse passes away or changes the beneficiary for survivor benefits.  You may be able to recover from your ex-spouse’s estate, but there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient assets.
  4. Change beneficiaries as allowable in your Agreement or Final Order of Divorce – For most people, they do not want their former spouse to still be the beneficiary of their portion of retirement assets, investments, employee benefits, bank accounts, etc.  Be careful! Your agreement may require that you maintain a former spouse or your children as partial or complete beneficiaries on some assets like life insurance. Although there may be language or case law that automatically changes some beneficiary designations, you do not want to burden your loved ones with a tough legal battle when you could have simply completed some forms to revise your designations.
  5. Draft or update wills, trusts, estate plans, living will – After divorce, you should update any wills, trusts, estate plans, etc. You will want to update new beneficiaries, identify new guardian appointments for your children, and identify new executors for your will.  If your prior trust was an irrevocable life trust; then, divorce alone may be insufficient to revoke those provisions.
  6. Change your power of attorney – Powers of attorney may need to be specifically revoked.  The divorce alone will not be sufficient to revoke the rights of the holder of the power of attorney.  Surely you do not want your former spouse making decisions about your assets, debts, property, and real estate. You also need to notify the prior holder of the power of attorney that it has been revoked.
  7. Update your health care directives – If you become incapacitated or disabled, your estranged spouse could still have legal control over your estate and your health decisions.  Make sure to revoke any powers of attorney or health care directives and make sure that update your proxy.

Whether you are seeking the support of an assertive attorney for a contested divorce or an emotional custody battle, NOVA Legal Professionals can provide the representation you not only need but deserve. Consider scheduling a consultation with us today by calling (571) 260-0999 or completing the contact form here.