Divorce can be overwhelming, from the day of filing through the day an Ohio judge approves the dissolution. And once that final decree is issued, you might just want to take some time to yourself and begin the emotional process of moving on.
There still are some very important details to take care of, however.
- Name change. If you are a woman who has told the court she wants to return to her maiden name, you will need a certified copy of the divorce judgment. That will be required to change your driver’s license, Social Security records, credit cards and any official documents.
- Retitling of property. If you were awarded the house, cars or other property that has a deed or title, you will need to have that document changed. For your house, that could require a “quit claim” deed, and your mortgage could have to be refinanced. Cars, boats and motorcycles can be retitled at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Don’t forget to remove your ex from your vehicle insurance policies.
- Medical insurance. If your spouse is on your medical insurance, be sure to take them off the policy by notifying your carrier. If your spouse carried you on their insurance, then you must secure your own through your employer or your state or the federal marketplace. A divorce is a qualifying event that will allow you to enroll outside of open enrollment.
- Open individual bank accounts if you haven’t done so already. Make sure all joint accounts are closed, including credit cards. You don’t want your ex to pile up debts in your name.
- Change your beneficiaries and update your estate plan. If you don’t do so, your ex-spouse could gain the proceeds of your retirement accounts, life insurance and other accounts, and also could be the person who holds your power of attorney and medical directive. Also, be sure to appoint a new executor if that was your spouse.
- Change your passwords, and don’t reuse those your ex-spouse might now. Come up with something creative for your email, social media and such. Have fun with it and reflect your current mood. How about “freshstart2019”?
Your divorce attorney can offer guidance on other tasks that must be completed, and once they’re done, you can go ahead and take some time to reflect on the past and embrace the future.