How To Protect Yourself After A Divorce

by May 18, 2023Article

Divorce is often an emotionally trying process, and it can be difficult to remember the steps you should take to protect yourself. Even after the divorce is finalized, you still need to tie up certain loose ends to ensure your interests and rights are protected so you can start the next chapter of your life. In this article, we discuss some things you should do after a divorce.

What To Do After A Divorce Is Finalized

Update and store documents

Divorce comes with a huge array of important documents that you will likely need in the future, so you should sort through them and keep them in a safe place. Such documents include (but are not limited to):

  • Parenting plan
  • Marital settlement agreement
  • Any financial affidavits you and your spouse filed
  • Income withholding order
  • Child support guidelines
  • Quit Claim Deed(s)
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Order
  • Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage

You should have these documents easily accessible in case you run into an issue and need to go back to court, and also so you can easily check the various rights and obligations of your divorce. While you can obtain copies from the Clerk of Court in the County of your divorce, it typically comes with an extra charge. 

You should keep track of any progress on obligations you or your ex-spouse are delegated in your Marital Settlement Agreement and Final Judgement. Moreover, you should also update your end-of-life documents like Health Care Surrogate, Trust, Will, Life Insurance Beneficiary, and Power of Attorney according to those delegations.

Account Security

Close all joint accounts and ensure that things are divided according to the Final Judgement and/or Marital Settlement Agreement. This includes:

  • Credit cards
  • Bank accounts
  • Insurance policies
  • Credit accounts
  • Joint outstanding checks or debts to be paid

Ensure that all your accounts (bills, bank, memberships, auto insurance, life insurance, health insurance, etc.) have the correct name, personal information, and address for your access, and change any passwords you need to change. If you and your ex-spouse jointly own vehicles, and you need to transfer deeds, then you should ensure the registration, titles, and tags are updated. Remember that while provisions in your agreements protect you, if you don’t make sure it’s done in the beginning, it could cost you a lot of time down the line. 

Name Change

If you are changing your name, you need to have a Certified Copy of the Final Judgement from the Clerk of the Court in the County that granted your divorce. You should have at least three certified copies if you’re changing your name. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires a copy to update your Driver’s License, the Social Security Administration requires a copy for a new Social Security Card, and you should always have a copy on hand just in case.

Contact Us Today

Even after your divorce is finalized, there are still steps you should take to ensure your rights are protected. Not keeping track of important documents and updates could end up being a major hassle down the line if any issues come up. If you are in need of an experienced divorce lawyer, call Swickle & Associates to consult with a top Florida divorce attorney today.