Having your divorce finalized gives a great sense of relief. Once you get that decree in the mail, there are a few other steps you need to take to completely wrap things up so that you can move forward.
– Change your name. If your divorce decree gives you permission to change your name to your pre-marital name (or maiden name), you will need to contact the Arizona DMV, banks, credit card companies, utilities for your home, loan companies, investment companies, Social Security Administration, your employer, health insurance company, auto insurance company, homeowner’s/renter’s insurance company, life insurance company, library, online accounts, and medical providers with the change. You may need to show the decree.
– Get a new will. Most married people name their spouse as beneficiary and possibly executor in their wills. You will want to have a new will created in which you select someone else for these roles. Your will also names your choice for guardian of your minor child and if you do not want your spouse chosen, this is your chance to explain your reasoning (the final decision will be up to the court after your death).
– Update your life insurance. For most people, their spouse is their beneficiary, so you will want to get this changed. Your divorce decree may order you to list your spouse as beneficiary as part of your child or spousal support obligation, so check with your attorney before making changes.
– Get a revised advance health care directive. Most people choose a spouse as their health care proxy during marriage. You will likely want to choose someone else for future decisions.
– Close joint financial accounts. All joint bank accounts, credit cards, and investments should be closed or converted to single accounts after your divorce. If they are left in effect you are liable for your ex’s purchases.
– Distribute property. Your divorce decree or property settlement sets out the division of your marital property. Once the decree is in effect, you need to follow its plan and divide up any property that has not yet been distributed.
The Sampair Group handles divorce, custody cases, post-decree modifications and all family law matters. Our experienced attorneys represent clients in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Make an appointment today.