5 Priorities When Your Divorce Becomes Final

Julie Hupp, CDFA®, CFP®
July 19, 2018
FINALLY! After an emotional roller coaster, you get that 8 ½ by 11 manila envelope with your divorce decree signed by the judge. You are officially a single person once again. You may celebrate or you may mourn on that day, but stay focused, you’re not quite done yet. There are some critical items that you want to take care of right away.
The key resources that I think everyone needs during the process and maybe for at a little while after is:

Review Your Decree

First, make sure you fully understand what’s in that envelope and what’s been awarded to you. There’s a good chance that you now need to have a QDRO prepared to split a retirement plan. Don’t delay! Get that going now to ensure a timely split of the account. Now is a great time to sit down with a financial advisor to map out your new financial plan, open any new accounts necessary and consolidate any old ones. Also be aware if there are other assets that will come to you at a later date.  This may be the case with Stock options and RSUS’s.

Review Financial Accounts

Be sure to remove your ex-spouse’s name from any existing accounts including utilities, banks, credit cards, insurance policies, etc. If you don’t already have one, get a credit card in your name alone.  Now is the time to establish your own financial identity.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Make it count!”

Get Organized

If you’ve never had one, create a filing system for all of your important financial documents as well as any statements that need to be retained for taxes. If you’re tech savvy, this might be 100% electronic but it needs to exist.

Review Beneficiaries On Accounts

Be sure to update all your beneficiaries on accounts and insurance policies immediately. I could tell you nightmare stories of ex spouse’s inheriting huge 401(k) plans because someone forgot to update the beneficiaries.

Write a New Will

If you have not been the one managing the finances in the house, hiring a financial professional to assist you with these tasks might make it less overwhelming.  Once you get through with these activities, it may not make you feel better, but it will likely make you feel a bit more independent and strong .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Make it count!

What's Next?

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One of the biggest problems my clients deal with is the transition from being a saver to being a spender.

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Our children are heading off to college. Besides being shocked at our tuition bill, we should be feeling such excitement. So how come we aren’t?

Aspire Divorce Solutions

Aspire Divorce Solutions offers creative solutions to assist you in your divorce. Whether self-filing, mediating or working with an attorney, we bring more clarity to your financial situation, saving you time and money.

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