The divorce process can be daunting and draining. This list of things to do after a divorce may help Kentucky residents plan ahead so that the process becomes more manageable and less stressful.

While a settlement agreement describes how assets will be divided, the people involved must take steps to separate everything. Assets and responsibilities that require attention might include a home, vehicles or a mortgage. The title of a home can be changed with a ‘quit claim” deed, and a divorce decree is not enough to give one possession of a home when a former spouse is still listed on the title.

Another priority task could include changing accounts that list a former spouse as a beneficiary. This might involve changing life insurance policies, retirement accounts, transfer-on-death brokerage accounts and annuities. Making these changes ensures an ex does not have a claim to these benefits should one pass away. When divvying retirement accounts, which do not include IRA accounts, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is needed.

Many joint accounts may need to be closed or split. This may involve creating new accounts or removing a former partner as an ‘authorized user.” In addition to a bank account, this might include accounts for expenses like utilities and credit cards. Doing this in a timely fashion helps ensure one is not liable for the future spending of an ex. To this end, an ex must also remove a former partner from his or her accounts.

The suggestions provided here are not an exhaustive list of everything that needs to be done after a divorce, but this list illustrates how involved the divorce process can be. Prenuptial agreements or even post-nuptial documents could help simplify matters if a marriage ends by providing guidelines for property division and alimony. To ensure alimony provisions are fair and enforceable, one may need the assistance of an attorney.

Source: Market Watch, The divorce is final. Now what?”, Mary Ann Ferreira, 04/11/2019

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