Speak with Professionals
- Interview and retain the services of a financial planner. A Certified Financial Planner Practitioner (CFP®) is suggested.
- Interview and retain the services of a tax preparer. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is suggested.
- Go over every detail of your Marital Settlement Agreement with your attorney and financial advisor to make sure everything is completed.
- Consider using applications such as Our Family Wizard (www.ourfamilywizard.com) to help facilitate co-parenting and information sharing between parents.
Credit and Debt
- Settle all outstanding bills with your legal counsel and other divorce professionals.
- Close all joint credit accounts. Make sure all credit card bills and loans are paid promptly and closed by you or your spouse if responsible.
- Open new credit card accounts in your separate name.
- Obtain a credit report 30 days later to verify no joint accounts remain.
Bank and Brokerage Accounts
- Close joint bank accounts and open new checking and savings accounts in your separate name.
- Close joint brokerage accounts and open new accounts in your individual name. Contact current company to facilitate transfer of assets in kind where necessary.
Real Estate and other Real Property
- Transfer ownership of all deeds for your homes or automobiles, boats, etc. and have them recorded at the appropriate county recorder or DMV office.
- Complete the process of refinancing or assumption of mortgages.
- Change beneficiaries on all Life Insurance policies, etc.
- Revise health insurance coverage for spouse and/or dependents depending on divorce decree. If insurance is not available through an employer; begin COBRA coverage or open a new individual policy.
- Obtain new property and casualty insurance for auto, homeowner’s etc.
- Obtain a life insurance policy on the payor of Child and Spousal Support as security for the payments that otherwise end on the death of the payor. The support recipient should be the owner and beneficiary and pay all premiums.
- Change beneficiaries on all Retirement & Pension accounts.
- Follow up with your attorney and/or QDRO drafter to ensure that the plan administrator has accepted the order and it has been filed with the court.
- Complete necessary transfers of IRA and other accounts per settlement once you receive a copy of your judgment.
- Execute a new will and/or trust. Designate guardians for your children if necessary. Be sure to update your health care proxy and your power of attorney documents.
Cash Flow and Taxes
- Review and update your post divorce budget for income and expenses.
- Execute IRS form 8332 to transfer dependency exemptions to non-custodial parent if necessary based on settlement.
- Review your tax withholding allowances with your tax advisor or CPA and determine if estimated quarterly payments will be necessary.