Tying Up the Loose Ends After the Divorce

Many divorced couples in Texas make it through the divorce process only to find that there is still work to be done to protect themselves and the assets they were awarded. Below is a short checklist to follow after the Final Decree of Divorce has been signed:

  1. Have an estate planning attorney draft your will and other necessary estate planning documents.

  2. Redesignate your beneficiaries for any life insurance policies and any retirement plans you were awarded in the divorce. Even if you are keeping your ex- spouse as the beneficiary you must redesignate.

  3. If you were awarded a portion of your ex-spouses retirement or deferred compensation plan, consult an attorney to determine what other court orders must be entered to divide the account. The documents vary depending on the type of account. It is also beneficial to consult a financial planner to discuss available options for those funds. There are tax consequences associated with many the decisions you make.

  4. Make sure you have set up an account with the State Disbursement Unit if you are receiving child support.

  5. Complete a Direct Deposit form if you have elected to have your child support payments directly deposited into your account.

  6. Change your passwords for e-mail, financial accounts, social networking sites, etc.

  7. If you were awarded the marital residence, change the locks.

  8. Make sure all documents have been signed and recorded with the appropriate entity to change the title of any asset awarded to you.

  9. Make sure you understand the terms of the Divorce Decree so you can comply with the Court order.

  10. If any of your bills were directly drafted out of an account awarded to your husband make sure you have changed the draft information and vice versa.

  11. If you were awarded the marital residence change the names on the utilities if they are in your former spouse’s name.

  12. Make sure your former spouse’s tolltag is not tied to an account awarded to you.