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What happens after a divorce is final

| Apr 16, 2019 | Divorce |

When people in Texas get a divorce, they likely still have a significant to-do list related to the split. For example, they may want to go through and change their passwords on all digital accounts.

Some people may need to change their name on their driver’s license and other documents, and some may need to remove an ex-spouse from health insurance. Other types of insurance, such as auto insurance, might need to be changed as well. If one spouse is keeping a vehicle, a home or other assets, they may need to be retitled. The house might need to be refinanced so that the ex-spouse is no longer responsible for the mortgage.

A qualified domestic relations order is necessary to split non-IRA retirement accounts. The account custodian must approve the order. While a qualified domestic relations order is not necessary for an IRA, the person may want to roll the distribution into a new IRA. Other accounts, including utilities and joint bank accounts, may also need to be closed or updated. People should remove ex-spouses from any accounts on which they are authorized users.

Estate plans may also need to be updated. This could include revising a will or trust, creating new powers of attorney and updating beneficiary designations.

It is possible to complete some of these tasks while the divorce is in progress, but people may want to do so in consultation with an attorney and the other spouse. For example, a person should not unilaterally close a joint bank account and take the assets. However, the couple might agree to start disentangling their finances during the divorce. Spouses should be careful about removing one another as beneficiaries before the divorce is final. It may require permission from the spouse, and if the owner of the asset dies, it could mean the other person receives nothing in the divorce settlement.

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