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What to do After Divorce and Property Settlement

WA Family Lawyer Renee O'Callaghan provides a checklist of the financial and legal steps that need to be considered following divorce and property settlement.

WA Family Lawyer Renee O’Callaghan provides a checklist of the financial and legal steps that need to be considered following divorce and property settlement.

This is a checklist of the financial and legal steps you may want to take after your divorce and property settlement is complete. These simple steps will aid in the process of moving forward following the separation, as the process of divorce can be mentally taxing coupled with a roller coaster of emotion.

The entire checklist may not relate to you however if you attend to those points that you may not previously have considered it could save you considerable stress and heartache in the future.

1. Retain copies of your divorce order and keep the original divorce order in a safe place. You may need the original document in the future for official matters;

2. If you wish to revert to your maiden name or change your name once your divorce order has been granted. Your divorce order may be required when changing your name;

3. Proceed to a settlement agent to transfer the title of any real property pursuant to property settlement orders. This will ensure that the transfer of the property has been effected properly. Ensure that your name or your spouses name is removed from the mortgage;

4. Change your name on the following identification documents:

– Driver’s license (the requirements may change from state to state),

– Centrelink,

– Passport,

– Medicare, and

– Bank Cards;

5. If your property settlement order calls for the transfer of vehicles than proceed to your local department of transport office to take care of the transfer of title, registration and license plates;

6. Disburse any funds held in joint bank accounts with your former spouse and close them. Prior to closing accounts make sure you notify any companies who you have authorized direct debits prior to closing the account;

7. Review all insurances such as health, life, auto and home. Make sure you have your own cover and update beneficiaries as necessary;

8. If you have never held credit, you may wish to obtain a credit card in your sole name and use it wisely so that you can build a record of using credit;

9. If your former spouse is a secondary card holder on any of your accounts notify the bank that you wish to have them removed and if possible obtain the card from them so you can cut it up and dispose of it;

10. Speak to a financial planner and obtain financial planning advice. Divorce can be financially overwhelming so obtaining professional financial advice is advisable;

11. Update your wills and the binding nominations on your superannuation fund;

12. Keep a record of the times the children spend with you and the other parent. Also keep a record of child support payments received or paid;

13. Ensure that all property is has been properly distributed. Try and distribute all personal property as soon as possible so you do not forget anything and to reduce the longevity of the process.

The above checklist is a guide only and is not an exhaustive list but there are some tips in here that will save you considerable trouble in the future if you address them promptly.

For further information about finalizing a divorce and property settlement with your former partner and the practical things to be done once you have finalised your divorce, contact your nearest TGB office.