Everything That Comes After the Divorce Is Finalized
As attorneys who practice family law here in Brownsville, Texas, we frequently counsel clients on such issues as child custody and support, division of property, finances, taxes, spousal maintenance, and anything that an individual who is contemplating or going through divorce needs to plan for and think about, but what about after everything has been accounted for in a divorce settlement? There is actually quite a bit that needs to be done after you obtain your divorce judgment, as we discuss below.
Staying On Schedule
Make sure that you have a list or schedule of all of your important commitments listed in the divorce decree, such as parenting schedules and paying child support and spousal maintenance, as well as any other requirements listed in the decree, such as obtaining life insurance.
Making Changes to Important Documents
There are also a number of accounts that you will need to adjust and/or open up in your name only; not only including bank accounts and credit cards; but also auto insurance and title and registration for your car. Adjustments will also need to be made to any beneficiary forms associated with certain accounts, such as brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc., and if you are required to transfer any portion of any accounts, such as pensions, you and your attorney will need to file a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Keep in mind that property that needs to be transferred pursuant to your agreement should be done so in a timely manner.
Before you make these adjustments, it is often easier to make changes to several main documents, such as your driver’s license, passport, social security card, etc. Make sure that you bring your divorce judgment with you to the department of motor vehicles, etc. to make these changes. Once these changes are made, it is usually easier to make changes to other accounts, such as your bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.
Estate Planning Adjustments
You need to pay close attention to any necessary changes to estate planning-related documents in particular, as most of these will need to be adjusted. This not only includes your will, but also power of attorney, health care proxy, etc. so that, if your ex is listed as the individual designated to make financial and/or healthcare decisions on your behalf, you adjust that to make sure that whoever is listed on these documents is someone you are comfortable with. Remember that any adjustments that you make need to comply with the terms of your settlement.
You also need to make sure that the property with likely the highest value in your life – the family home – is properly dealt with. Whether or not you are selling the home, holding onto it jointly with your ex, buying out their interest, etc., the title and deed likely need to be adjusted to reflect that you are divorced. What you do not want is, 15 years later, if you go to sell your home, having to deal with your ex’s name on the deed and the process that comes with that.
Speak with Our Texas Divorce Attorneys
Know that you have a Texas divorce attorney on your side throughout this process. Contact our Brownsville family attorneys at Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer, L.L.P. today to find out more about our services.