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After My Divorce – Amazing Free 12 Point Post-Divorce Action Checklist!

After My Divorce

Congratulations. Now ask yourself: After my divorce has been finalised and I have my divorce order, and I’ve taken some time out to regroup… what else do I need to do after my divorce?  While this is not an exhaustive list, and not everything will apply in your situation, we’ve put together a 12 point action checklist of ‘after my divorce’ things to do, to help point you in the right direction.

1 Check your settlement agreement

Go over your divorce settlement agreement and ensure you have a grasp of all important details.  A good tip is to put together a summary.  Your summary is ideally a one-page document containing the key terms and details of your agreement, minus any difficult legal language.

2 After my divorce note the important deadlines or dates I’ve agreed to

Are there any follow-up items you need to action?  Write any after my divorce to-do’s into your calendar, noting who is to do what and when.  Prioritise your list according to urgency.

3 Gather important documents

Keep originals in a safe place and get certified copies of important documents, such as your divorce order, birth certificates, passport, insurance policies, vehicle registrations, and property titles.

4 Sort out banking

Disperse any funds in joint accounts and close them.  Don’t forget to make sure you change any direct debits you may have set up on a joint account to your personal account.  Open your own bank accounts in your name. Make sure the bank knows your divorce has been finalised and send them a copy of your final order and direct them to stop joint account transactions, especially any joint credit card accounts.

Help protect your credit rating by getting your own credit cards in your name.  Pay off and close joint credit cards (or remove your ex as an account holder).

Double check with the bank once you think everything is sorted out to ensure no joint accounts are still open.

5 Change your surname?

If you registered your change of name when you got married with the Births, Deaths and Marriages department, you will need to register your request to change your name back with them if you decide to do this – some women choose to maintain their married name to avoid confusion for children.

Then you’ll need to contact all relevant organisations to ask that your records are updated.

If the whole process feels like it will create a headache of admin, you can find easy “name change kits” online that can help you streamline the process.

6 Update important accounts

For example, this might include financial institutions, insurances, utilities, Medicare, MyGov, Centrelink, your driver’s licence and passport, online shopping account, and any other official accounts or services that require your up-to-date details.

7 Update your passwords

Change all your passwords including social media, emails, banking and computer log-ins, even things like PayPal, AfterPay accounts, and subscriptions for services like Netflix, Stan, Amazon, and Audible.

8 After my divorce, who owns what?

Work out what needs to be done in terms of asset ownership post-divorce.  Who holds title (i.e who is the registered owner)?  Did the divorce order require certain assets to be transferred or sold?

Did you agree to sell your marital home?  Then you’ll be looking at preparing the home for sale and hiring real estate agents.  If one of you is keeping the home, title will need to be transferred and your name removed from the mortgage.  Don’t forget to change the locks if you have any security worries!

You’ll also need to think about other assets.  Transfer vehicle and boat registrations and licence plates to the correct person and record transfers at the appropriate agency.

9 Get a financial expert on your side

You may not have had a financial advisor before, but if not, now’s the perfect time to look into engaging one.  Post-divorce, it’s important to get good financial advice in relation to everything from investments to estate planning to tax and superannuation.  Or if you used the services of a finance professional during your marriage, you’ll probably want to switch to a new professional who has no ties to your ex.

10 Work out a post-divorce budget

Now that you have your divorce finalised, take a good look at your income and expenses going forward.  Your situation may well have changed dramatically and require you to develop a new post-divorce budget that helps you attain financial security.

11 Streamline co-parenting

If children are in the picture, think about utilising apps and programs that help you coordinate co-parenting with your ex.  You might like to use a shared Google calendar, or Google sheets to track children’s expenses.  Co-parenting apps are also wonderful for helping you and your co-parent work out scheduling and to assist with documenting communications between you.  Bonus:  knowing things are documented means you and your ex are more likely to be civil!

12 Update your will, estate plan and beneficiary designations

Unless you want your ex to inherit your assets upon your death, you will need to update your estate plan and beneficiary designations.  We would recommend you seek the guidance of an estate planning lawyer to help with updating your will, changing executor and beneficiaries, updating your power of attorney, dissolving family trusts or creating new trusts.  You should also ask to be removed as executor on your ex’s will, and consider revoking other agreements such as Powers of Attorney, and Advanced Care Directives, and update next of kin and emergency contact details for example from medical providers.

If you would like assistance and advice with a  family law matter, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors. For more information please check out our Alliance Family Law website or call to make an appointment on (02) 6223 2400.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.  For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.

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