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I'm Divorced - Now What?

Now that you are divorced here is a checklist of items that you should make sure you take care of. These items relate only to property and debt and do not include custody or child support which is addressed in a separate blog post.

1. Get a certified copy of your divorce decree. Your lawyer should have given you one but if you don't have one or can't find it make sure you obtain one from the clerk's office to keep for your records.

2. Change all loans, mortgages, and credit cards to the name of the person responsible for the debt. If your former spouse hasn't done this keep following up every few months to make sure it is taken care of.

3. Record any deeds for real estate in the name of the party who owns the property.

4. If you gave your lawyer original tax returns, bank statements, or other documents make sure to pick them up to keep for your files.

5. Change the names on relevant insurance policies (auto, home, etc.)

6. Change the beneficiary on life insurance, pensions, 401ks, and IRAs.

7. Have a new will and/or trust prepared along with a healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney.

8. Make sure the plan administrator of any retirement plan that you have an interest in has your new address. If you received a part of your spouse's retirement plan in the divorce this is critical to you getting any part of your former spouse's retirement.

9. Notify your health insurance company of any reduction in family members covered or if you still need coverage under your spouse's plan look into your COBRA rights.

10. Change the names on all vehicle titles.

Last but not least do something to celebrate the new life you are about to embark on. It might be a mini vacation, a party, a spa makeover, or something you never would have done while married. Life is short and every day is a day worth living.