Even if you believe your ex-spouse wouldn’t do anything to take advantage of you after your divorce, it is always best to protect yourself, your financial assets, and your personal property after a divorce. Dividing your assets with an ex-spouse can be a stressful ordeal. When you start severing those ties and truly separating your lives, it can be easy to overlook a few important aspects of your divorce. Consider the following post-divorce checklist, and consult with a qualified divorce lawyer if you are unsure about aspects of a recent divorce agreement.
Separate Your Finances
If you and your ex shared a bank account or other financial assets, you should ensure that you no longer have any ties to your ex through these institutions. This may require starting new bank accounts, canceling or suspending joint accounts, or applying for new credit cards.
Update Beneficiary Listings
You likely listed your ex as a beneficiary on your life insurance policy or work-related benefits forms. Now is the time to revisit these documents and update them accordingly.
Review Your Personal Credit and Assets
Your credit score fluctuates with your marital status. It’s a wise idea to run a credit check on yourself after your divorce. Doing so can give you a better idea of your financial health and creditworthiness. If you need to buy a new home, a new vehicle, or otherwise arrange your post-divorce life, then you will need to know your credit score and your available financing options. If you and your ex shared accounts for things like Apple Music, Netflix, or other subscription-based services, you will need to decide how to handle these issues as well. You may need to make new accounts for yourself. Let your spouse keep the old ones or change your passwords if your spouse agrees to let you keep those accounts.
Revisit Your Will or Estate Plan
Just like credit cards, bank accounts, and benefits programs, you will need to review your will, trust, or estate plan. Consider no longer listing your ex as a beneficiary. If you need guidance, an attorney can help you determine the best candidates for your beneficiaries.
Purchase New Insurance Coverage
You may need to purchase entire new insurance plans. New plans may be necessary for medical coverage, vehicle, home, or rental unit after a divorce.
Create a New Budget for Yourself
Your everyday situation changes dramatically after a divorce. You will need to check your finances and prepare to handle your expenses on your own.
Build a Post-Divorce Filing System
Store personal documents from your marriage and start a new filing system for post-divorce documents. It’s also wise to build a file of all the documentation related to your divorce. A file may include name change forms, updated financial documents, statements, and anything else affected by the dissolution of your marriage.
Update Your Personal Information
If you changed your name for your marriage, you can change it back to your previous name. You may also need to update your personal information for various services, email, and social media pages.
Delete Shared Information
You will need to remove your personal files from the computer if your spouse is taking the computer in the divorce. There are many ways to accomplish this, but you should do some research to thoroughly ensure your ex will no longer have access.
Buy a Shredder
A good paper shredder is a great way to dispose of personal documents, financial information, credit cards, and other documentation. Especially if you don’t want those documents falling into the wrong hands. You can also investigate professional shredding services that can pick up the documents you want shredded so you can be certain of their destruction.
These are just a few of the major concerns you will likely face after a divorce. If you have specific questions about elements of your divorce or what you should do after a divorce in Texas, speak with a reliable Austin family law attorney.