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Post-Divorce Checklist

Going through a divorce is a stressful time in anyone’s life. When the judge pronounces “You are divorced”, there’s the immediate reaction of relief and a sense of finality.

For some people, when they leave the Court, it is final. However, for many others there is still a lot of work left to do. If you’re one of the lucky ones with work left to do, it’s helpful to have a checklist after your divorce.

Some divorces result in further litigation after the divorce. What you don’t want to happen is end up in post-divorce enforcement litigation because you or your spouse did not do all the things that you both agreed to do or were ordered to do.

With that said, here is a checklist of things for you to think through and do after your divorce is complete.

In All Divorces

  • File the proper paperwork in the District Clerk’s Office to inform the Texas Department of Vital Statistics of the Divorce. It’s a Form VS-165.
  • Get a new will!

Property and Monetary Issues

  • Transfer all of the property in the divorce decree. This can be personal property (jewelry, clothes, etc.), or real property (land, houses, etc.),
  • Ensure your spouse receives any property that is owed to them from you.
  • If real property (a house) is changing hands, make sure that you (or your spouse) execute a deed to transfer the property. Execute it as its stated in the divorce decree, typically through a special warranty deed or deed without warranty. Quitclaim deeds are popular, but not advisable.
  • Change the titles for any vehicles, boats, airplanes, etc.
  • If you are dividing a retirement fund or pension plan in the divorce, make sure to complete all the steps in the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO” – pronounced Quadro in Texas).
  • Update your beneficiaries on any 401(k) or IRA.
  • Inform your insurance companies of any change in ownership.
  • Re-finance your house if ordered to in the divorce decree to remove your former spouses name.
  • Update your beneficiaries on any life insurance policies.
  • Update your health insurance policies.
  • Remove your name from debts or loans that are no longer yours.

Child Related Issues

  • Make sure you make all scheduled visitation times with your children
  • When it’s your ex-spouses time with the children, make sure they get to exercise that time – do NOT interfere with their time.
  • Try to reach agreements beforehand concerning any necessary changes in schedule.
  • Pay your child support on time.

Personal Issues

  • If you’ve changed your name:
  • Notify the Social Security Administration.
  • Get a new driver’s license.
  • Notify your banks or other financial institutions and ensure they have your new name on file as well as your previous married name.
  • Update your name and address on all accounts
  • Notify any creditors of your new name and address. You do not want debts to pile up, because they’ll eventually catch up with you.
  • Do NOT get remarried in less than 30 days from the date of your divorce.

Contact Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant

This post-divorce checklist does not cover every issue that may arise after a divorce. However, if you follow all of these items on the checklist, the odds of you avoiding court after your divorce definitely improve. If you need to visit with a lawyer concerning something that happened after your divorce, then contact the family law attorneys at Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant. Give us a call to set up a consultation at (940) 387-3518, or contact us here.

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