The stresses and challenges associated with the divorce processes do not cease at the moment that one’s divorce is finalized. It therefore helps to think of divorce as a life transition as opposed to simply the process by which a couple legally dissolves their marriage. Once a divorce is finalized, several financial realities need to be addressed before newly single individuals can truly put their divorce processes behind them in significant ways.
First, it is important to ensure that all of your important legal and financial documents are updated to reflect your recent divorce. If your bank accounts, credit cards and other financial accounts have yet to be formally split, they need to be split now in order to avoid liability for your former spouse’s transactions on these accounts. Similarly, any insurance documentation, 401(K) plans and your estate planning documents need to be updated given that your former spouse is likely designated as the principal beneficiary on these accounts.
Second, it is important to update your tax withholding documentation with your employer. Your household size officially changes in the wake of your divorce and therefore you will likely require different withholding designations on tax documentations.
Finally, it is important to check your credit report to ensure that your spouse has not influenced your credit in a negative way during your divorce. Your report should also reflect any changes you have made in the closing of financial accounts or opening of new accounts in the wake of your decision to divorce.
Source: Forbes, “6 Key Money Matters After You Divorce,” Leslie Thompson, Jan. 8, 2015