In this blog post we continue the discussion of what steps one should take after divorce in order to be financially stable. While planning is very important, as we previously discussed, it is also important to make some key changes.
For example, make sure you open your own bank accounts and take your name off shared assets. If you are changing your name after divorce, make sure you get a new driver's license, passport and Social Security Card. You may also want to change your car registration.
You will likely have joint expenses. Make sure you take your name off these types of accounts. Not all creditors will make it easy to do this, so you may have to work with your lawyer in order to get these changes finalized.
The same goes for debts. The divorce settlement may have split some debts. If at all possible, have joint debts changed into individual accounts so you are not stuck having to monitor whether or not your ex actually paid his or her portion. If he or she doesn't, it may ruin your credit score.
Finally, retirement accounts may come into play for some couples. A lawyer can help you use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide these assets. With this document, you can roll your portion into your own account.
Finally, be diligent about changing the beneficiary on all relevant accounts. It may not be your intention to have your ex end up with your assets if you should pass away.
Source: Forbes, "Finances For The Newly Divorced Made Easy," Neal Frankle, Sept. 15, 2014