God is in the Details

You may think it’s over when the judge signs the decree, and legally it is. However, there are what can be called housekeeping details, and it is best not to forget them.

If you divorced pro se, you should be particularly attentive to these details. You have to do them — or make sure they are done. These are the divorce housekeeping chores.

Some of these many not apply in all situations, and some may have happened before the judge signs the order or as part of what is called “the divorce process,” but all divorced people should make sure they are attended to. (Remember, God and the devil are both in the details).

A party who uses a lawyer may find his or her attorney as part of the divorce has already done some of these chores.

As part of a divorce (or its follow up), here are 10 must-do steps:

1. Read the decree and correct any mistakes.

2. Get certified copies of the divorce order.

3. Make new deed for real estate.

4. Transfer the titles of cars.

5. Update insurance coverage.

6. Update beneficiary designations and W-4 withholding.

7. Protect retirement rights.

8. Rewrite wills and trusts.

9. Confirm the separation of bank and credit accounts.

10. Follow through on name changes.

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