The judge just signed your divorce decree: What now?

| Mar 30, 2021 | Divorce |

You’ve negotiated a settlement over the marital debts and assets, agreed to a custody and parenting plan and generally done everything necessary to get your divorce over — and a judge has finally reviewed your agreement and signed off.

You’re not quite done, however, with the business of divorce. You should plan to take some time off work to tie up some loose ends once your divorce papers have been signed and you can get certified copies of the decree from your local Clerk of Courts. 

Steps you need to take following your divorce’s finalization

A few of the first places you’ll want to visit with your divorce decree in hand are your insurance company, the Georgia Department of Driver Services, your local car titling agency, employer’s human resources office and the Social Security Administration (SSA). You’ll want to update your name, address, contacts and beneficiary designations with each of these. You may also want to inquire about bridge-the-gap coverage when speaking with your health insurer if you lost your coverage in the divorce.

You also need to visit your bank with your divorce decree in hand to remove your ex from any bank accounts you have. You should also call to cancel any joint credit cards and ask if you can open your own instead so that you can start building up your credit. It’s critical that you update any passwords on any financial accounts that your ex may know about (if you haven’t done so already).  

You’ll also want to contact any investment management companies or retirement plan companies involved in your settlement to supply them with the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in your case so it can be properly executed. 

Where to seek out help post-divorce

Sometimes, issues come into being or facts come to light after a divorce is settled that can make you question if your agreements are reasonable, fair or workable. In those situations, it may be time to learn more about post-divorce modifications to custody, support or even the division of assets.

It’s in cases where you discover some discrepancies in hindsight that you may be able to address by seeking a post-divorce modification.