As a New Jersey Divorce Attorney it is not uncommon for my office to handle certain matters after the divorce is finalized. A prime example is equalizing retirement accounts ranging from a 401K to a pension. This is also known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”). Having said that, other loose ends need to be tied after your divorce is over. Although a lot of stress will be alleviated after your divorce decree is finalized, the list of things to do unfortunately does not end right away.

The following is a checklist enumerating matters that you may need to handle after the divorce is final to ensure that they take all the necessary actions to protect themselves and move on with their lives

  1. Get in touch with your boss: he or she will probably have to update company records or alter accounts regarding your retirement fund
  2. Change your name on the following:
    • Credit cards
    • Driver’s license and registration
    • Social security card
    • Car, life, health and homeowner’s insurance policies
    • Title to property
    • IRS records
  3. Get in touch with your bank: you will have to open up new accounts in your name and cancel any accounts that you held jointly with your spouse
  4. Create a new will if you had previously drafted one including your spouse
  5. If your spouse was your power of attorney, make sure you have that revoked in writing
  6. If you move from the marital home, make sure you update your mailing address and have all of your mail forwarded to that address
  7. If a quit claim deed or warranty deed was executed, make sure it was recorded so that transfer of property title is not a hassle
  8. Change who the beneficiaries are on your insurance policies and pension/IRA accounts
  9. If you have children, create a direct deposit account for the non-custodial parent to deposit child support and/or alimony payments into
  10. Change your tax filing status: once you are single you will have to file your taxes in a different way and might not be eligible for as many exemptions as if you were still married
  11. See if you are eligible to collect your spouse’s social security benefits (see my piece How Does My NJ Divorce Effect My Social Security to see if you are eligible).

I trust this checklist is helpful to those need.