Wednesday, April 18, 2018


  1. Obtain a Certified Copy of Your Divorce Decree.
    This can be obtained from your attorney or from the county clerk at the courthouse.
    Make a copy of it in color so you have two. One to use and one to keep at home for back up.

  2. Keep Your Marriage License.
    You may need it in the future for social security or other needs in the future.
  3. Complete the QDRO Process.
    This is important to do sooner rather than later!
  4. Complete the IRA or Other Investment Transfer Process.
    To receive any IRA or other non ERISA assets from your ex-spouse you must follow the investment firms’ rules. Call the firm for more information. This may require your ex- spouses signature.
  5. Change Your Beneficiaries.
    Do this on assets you owned during the marriage and still retain (your own life insurance policies, annuities, 401k/403b or IRA, etc.)
  6. Please Run a Credit Report on Yourself.
  7. Remove Your Ex-Spouses Name from Accounts
    Go through your accounts and be sure to adjust the registrations. Pay special attention to any accounts that will be reporting to credit bureaus and any financial accounts. Re-title any vehicles in your name alone.
  8. Establish Your Own Financial Identity
    If you haven’t already, get a credit card in your name as well as a checking and savings account. Start building your individual credit as soon as possible. Use the credit card but pay it off each month.
  9. Notify All Insurance Policies
    Be sure to review the beneficiaries on any policies and make sure that your ex-spouse’s name is removed. Visit with your agent to be sure that you have all the coverage you need and that you understand all details of your policies. If you’re going to be using COBRA health coverage through your ex-spouse’s employer, contact your insurer to find out to set it up
10. Get Organized
If you’ve never had one, create a filing system for all of your important financial documents as well as any statements that need to be retained for tax information.
11. Create a Budget
You’re embarking on a new life with a whole new set of finances. Sit down and create a budget. If this is too overwhelming, ask your financial advisor for help.
12. Write a New Will
Everything has changed. Be sure that your new wishes are clear so that there is no confusion.
13. Educate Yourself
You don't want to jump into major financial decisions before getting your bearings and making sure you fully understand the landscape. Many people find themselves in a situation where they are responsible for financial tasks that they never had to perform in their marriage. Take time to educate yourself and understand your financial options. Seek out a financial expert who can help you grasp a better understanding of your money matters.
14. Notify your Employer
Your employer may need to change company records, health or life insurance plans, and update accounts regarding retirement or 401-K programs. You also need to fill out a new W-4 with your new tax filing status.
15. Revoke any Powers of Attorney
If you have given your former spouse a power of attorney you should ensure that it is revoked in writing.

16. For Women, Change your Name with Social Security Administration.
Your social security number will not change. 
17. For Women, Change your Name with the DMV (Driver’s License).
You can also change the name on your Texas DMV vehicle title and change your voter registration name at the DMV. 
18. For Women, Change your Name on Your Passport.
This can typically be done via mail. 

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