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Divorce marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. As you navigate this transition, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to ensure your financial, legal, and personal matters are in order. At Varghese Summersett, we understand that the aftermath of divorce can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive post-divorce checklist to help you regain control and move forward with confidence.

Post-Divorce Checklist

Post-Divorce Checklist

1. Open New Bank Accounts or Update Existing Ones

Gain financial independence by opening new bank accounts or removing your former spouse from any joint accounts. This guarantees that your financial resources are secure and solely under your control. Taking this important step will help you manage your finances more effectively and confidently.

2. Change All Passwords

Protect your digital security by changing all passwords. This includes passwords for your email, social media, online banking and any other services you use. It’s important to use strong, unique passwords to safeguard your personal information.

3. Secure Your Home

If you are retaining the marital residence, change all the locks and garage codes. This step is crucial for safety and peace of mind.

4. Monitor Your Finances

Establish a clear spending plan and monitor your income and any expenses your ex-spounse was responsible for and that you now must handle. Regularly review your financial statements to stay on top of your financial health.

5. Finalize Retirement Accounts

If your retirement accounts have been divided, make sure all Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) are complete. At Varghese Summersett, we are one of the few firms in Texas that specialize in QDROs, and we would be happy to handle this aspect of divorce for you. This is also an excellent time to consult with a financial advisor to help you plan for your financial future.

6. Update Titles on Assets

Change the titles on all assets awarded to you in the Final Decree, such as cars and houses. Notify any relevant financing companies of these changes to avoid any future complications.

7. Prepare New Estate Planning Documents

Draft new Wills and Trust Documents, including a Durable General Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. This ensures that your estate planning reflects your new circumstances and wishes.

8. Close Joint Credit Card Accounts

Ensure that all joint credit card accounts are closed. This prevents your former spouse from incurring any debt in your name and helps you manage your finances independently.

9. Update Utility Bills

Change the name on all utility bills to reflect who is now responsible. This includes electricity, water, gas, internet, and any other services tied to your residence.

10. Obtain New Auto Insurance

Get a new personal auto insurance policy that aligns with your current situation. This is crucial for your protection and compliance with the law.

11. Change Beneficiaries

Update the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, 401(k), pensions, and IRA accounts. Ensure that these important assets are designated according to your current wishes.

12. Update Your Mailing Address

If you have moved from the marital residence, update your mailing address with credit card companies, banks, the motor vehicle department, and insurance companies. If you are receiving child support, update your new address with the Texas State Disbursement Unit to ensure timely payments.

13. Handle Name Changes

If you have changed your name as a result of the divorce, obtain a new Social Security Card, driver’s license, passport, and credit cards. Inform your bank, your children’s school, and other relevant parties of your name change to avoid any confusion or issues.

As you work through this post-divorce checklist, remember that Varghese Summersett’s legal team is just a call away. We would be pleased to update your will, power of attorney and other estate planning documents. And while you are probably not thinking about it now, please keep us in mind if you decide to remarry. It’s always a good idea to have a prenuptial agreement in place before walking down the aisle again. We wish you all the best in your new journey and are here to help with all of your family law matters. 817-203-2220.

Post-Divorce Checklist: Steps to a Successful Fresh Start

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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