• Philip S. Burnham, Esq.

Divorce and the New Year

Updated: Feb 10


The New Year is upon us, bringing changes and updates to our lives. The start of this year can be a difficult time for couples who divorced recently and do not know how to restart their lives in 2020. If your divorce has officially been declared and the process is complete, there are certain steps you should take to start your new life correctly. The following are things you may still need to complete post-divorce:

Read Through Your Divorce Decree

Your divorce decree with help you move forward and tie up all the loose ends. This important document will state how to divide up property and the alimony schedule that was set in place during divorce meetings. The decree will also state the amount of child support that you or your spouse is required to pay. A helpful tip is to mark on a calendar when all payments are due during each month. This ensures that you will not forget to pay alimony or child support.

Close Joint Accounts

If you and your spouse have shared accounts, close them immediately and open private ones to reduce the risk of overdraft or excessive charges.

Update Insurance Coverage

Many couples use the same insurance company to obtain health, home, and automobile coverage. This will need to be changed once the divorce is in place. Call your agent or Human Resources consultant immediately and discuss the process for obtaining your own policies. You will also need to remove your spouse from being your beneficiary and choose someone else to handle that position.

Change Your name

Now that your divorce is final, you will have the option to change back to your maiden name. This can be done at a social security office. Once your name has been changed, notify creditors of your name change, update your driver’s license and bank accounts, and amend your lease or mortgage.

Update Last Will and Testament

After a divorce, ex-spouses should update their will and testament as soon as possible. If an accident were to happen and a medical decision needed to be made, you do not want your ex-spouse to be the power of attorney and the person in charge of the situation.

A divorce can be a very stressful and complicated experience. Once the process is over, a sigh of relief cannot be done until you wrap up the last steps. Completing these steps sooner rather than later will make everything easier and help prevent future problems.

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