4 Things to Do Once the Divorce is Final
While you may think the hard work is over once your divorce is finalized, there are 5 important tasks you should take care of immediately following your divorce to ensure that you will have an easier time going forward.
- Close Joint Accounts
Most Judgments of Divorce will specify the time frame in which joint accounts held by spouses are to be closed, and how the money in those accounts will be distributed. It is important to mark these dates in your calendar and follow them to the best of your ability, so you are not in violation of your Judgment of Divorce. If an extreme situation arises that prevents you from closing these accounts and distributing the funds, contact your attorney so they can keep you out of trouble with the courts.
- Revise Your Estate Plan
It is likely that your current will lists your spouse as the main benefactor and may even give your spouse power of attorney if you become unable to make medical or financial decisions. If you no longer want your spouse to benefit from your will or have power of attorney, it is important to revise your estate plan.
- Revise Your Beneficiaries
While changing your estate plan will ensure that your spouse is no longer a beneficiary in your will and no longer has power of attorney, there are many documents that require separate revision to ensure your assets after death do not go to your spouse. For example, if you have a life insurance policy, revising your estate plan will not remove your spouse as the beneficiary. Instead, you must contact the life insurance provider and change the beneficiary on their forms. Further, if you would like your young children to be the beneficiaries of these monetary accounts, you may need to create a trust. A trust is necessary for minor’s, because minors cannot directly take the money in the event of your death.
- Keep Track of Payments
If you are required to pay child support or alimony, it is imperative that immediately after the divorce is final, you mark on your calendar all the days that your payments are due. The deadlines of these payments matter. If you fail to make payments on time, you may be subject to interest or found to be in violation of court order. Thus, it is important to mark down how much you have to pay, and when you have to pay it.
The same is true if you are the spouse receiving the payments. Marking down when payments are due to you is essential to ensure that you and your children have the necessary funds to maintain your life. If your spouse fails to make payments on time, or fails to make any payments, you should seek an attorney to obtain a spousal maintenance order and a money judgment.
Please contact Spindler and Associates for advice on how to proceed after your divorce, or if your spouse is not following the Judgment of Divorce or other court orders. We have years of experience and know the laws and court procedures for Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw Counties where our attorneys have practiced for years. Contact Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000 to schedule a consultation. The Oakland County law office is conveniently located in Milford, Michigan. Our service area includes these communities: Milford, Waterford, Walled Lake, Commerce, Highland, Hartland, White Lake, Commerce, South Lyon, Linden, New Hudson, Wixom, Holly, Fenton, Grand Blanc and many more.