Personal Finances During or After Divorce

by Norris Law Group on December 24, 2013

If divorce has become part of your life, you may find yourself in a period of emotional upheaval. It may be easy to forget about more practical, day-to-day matters, such as personal finance.

It is important, however, to “take care of business,” no matter what situation your relationship may be in at the moment, especially if you have children. Jeff Landers, a divorce financial planner, writes in the Huffington Post about what you should do to get your financial house in order as you consider or move through the divorce process. Although he focuses on the needs of divorced or divorcing women, Jeff Landers’ advice may apply to men and women alike.

The checklist of financial tasks provided below may help you get organized during or after a divorce:

  1. Get an original copy of your certified divorce decree, and make extra copies so that you’re able to provide them promptly when needed.
  2. Close any joint credit accounts.
  3. Remove your ex-spouse’s name (if necessary) and/or change your name and address, on all remaining accounts, including:
    1. Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
    2. Credit cards
    3. Driver’s license, automobile title, registration and insurance policies
    4. Employer’s records
    5. IRS records
    6. Life, health, homeowner’s and disability insurance policies
    7. Post office (Don’t forget to forward your mail if necessary.)
    8. Professional licenses
    9. Social security card
    10. Title to real property
    11. Utility bills
  4. Research your health insurance options and apply for COBRA, if necessary.
  5. If your divorce decree requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), provide the QDRO to appropriate banks, brokerages, pension plan advisor, 401k administrators, etc., along with a quitclaim or warranty deed.
  6. Open a new bank account. Consider establishing direct deposit or income withholding for child support, spousal support and/or alimony payments.
  7. Open a new credit card account and request a copy of your credit report.
  8. Disinherit your ex-spouse. Write and execute a new will, trusts, medical directives and/or living wills and powers of attorney.
  9. Establish good credit in your own name. You can request a truly FREE copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and address any inaccuracies contained therein.
  10. Form a “financial team” to help you chart your financial path, including:
    1. A financial planner;
    2. An estate-planning attorney;
    3. A therapist or counselor (if you feel it is necessary); and/or
    4. A vocational counselor to help you re-enter the job market, or even start your own business.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce, including QDRO’s. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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