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Tasks to complete after a divorce

Filing the last of the divorce paperwork can be a big relief for couples in Illinois who are splitting up, but there is usually still more work to be done after the divorce. For example, a spouse may need to be removed from a health insurance policy, and one spouse may need to find another source for medical insurance.

Vehicles and other assets may need to be retitled. It might be necessary to refinance a mortgage if one spouse gets the home. Joint accounts, including bank and credit card accounts, may need to be closed and individual accounts opened in their place. Some people may want to make a name change. If there is a non-IRA retirement account that the couple is dividing in the divorce, a document called a qualified domestic relations order may need to be approved by the plan’s custodian. Assets from retirement accounts that are split during divorce may need to be rolled into a new IRA.

It may also be necessary to revise estate plans. This could include changing a will and a trust as well as powers of attorney. Beneficiary designations must also be updated along with any pay-on-death or transfer-on-death assets. Finally, people should change all their passwords.

Certain situations might keep spouses from being able to make a clean break after divorce. For example, the couple might still share ownership of a business. One person could be required to pay spousal support to the other. Many couples who divorce have children, and if the children are young, they may be co-parenting for years. A job loss, a remarriage or other major life changes could mean that custody, visitation or support agreements must be altered as well. For example, a drop in income could make support payments difficult. Parents may need to return to court to request a modification in these circumstances.