Steps to Take after Finalizing a Divorce

Steps to Take after Finalizing a Divorce

Many people share the misconception that once a divorce is complete, there are no more steps to take. However, most of the time, that is not true, particularly if your final settlement negotiated issues related to the division of retirement accounts or issues regarding custody of minor children. Accordingly, there are several follow-up steps you should take after finalizing a divorce.

Execute Any Necessary Documents to Effectuate Transfers of Assets

Financial settlement agreements commonly provide for transfers of assets from one spouse to another. Transfers of title for a marital home or transfers of a right to a portion of one spouse’s retirement account are common. The burden is on the spouses to ensure assets are actually transferred following entry of a settlement agreement. Accordingly, in the case of transferring title to a marital home, the spouses need to execute any necessary quit claim deeds to transfer title between them. Similarly, in the case of dividing a retirement account, spouses should make sure to execute any necessary Qualified Domestic Relations Orders to help ensure a spouse’s rights to retirement accounts are secured.

Change Your Beneficiaries and Estate Documents

Unless otherwise provided in your final divorce, after finalizing a divorce is a great time to change the beneficiaries to your accounts to someone other than your ex-spouse. This is also a good time to change any estate documents you may have, including but not limited to your wills or Powers of Attorney. Even if you and your ex-spouse ended on good terms, you likely will not want them making end-of-life medical or financial decisions for you.

Track Your Spouse’s Compliance With Your Final Divorce Judgment

Unfortunately, some people do not comply with provisions of their final divorce judgment, whether intentionally or accidentally. Oftentimes this happens when divorce documents require an annual or monthly exchange of documents or recurring payments (such as child support or alimony) from one party to the other. If your ex is late on a payment or is refusing to comply with a final divorce judgment, you may file a petition to hold them in contempt of court and enforce the divorce judgment.

Remember Entitlements to Derivative Benefits

If you were married to your spouse for over 10 years and you were the lower-income-earning spouse, you may be entitled to receive Social Security spousal benefits through the Social Security Administration in addition to the assets you receive pursuant to your divorce judgment. If you are nearing retirement age, you should bear in mind that you may soon be able to receive these benefits through your prior marriage if they are higher than what you would otherwise receive through your own record.

Contact Us Today For Assistance

Even if your divorce was finalized, there are still many steps to take to ensure you can be at ease. The experienced Mount Pleasant family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can help go through your final agreement and highlight the steps you need to take following entry of your final divorce judgment.

Contact us today for a free consultation.