Post-Divorce Checklist in Virginia
By: John Whitbeck
Once your Virginia divorce is finalized, it’s not uncommon to want to put everything to do with that relationship and divorce behind you. However, just because the divorce is finalized, it doesn’t mean everything is complete. There are still things you need to do, especially if there are children involved.
First, you want to obtain several certified copies of the final divorce decree. It’s also important to review all the completed paperwork with your Virginia divorce attorney so you are clear on what you need to do as outlined in the settlement agreement.
Creating a checklist can help ensure you address all the tasks that need to be completed after your divorce. Below, you’ll find a few common things you may want to include on your own post-divorce checklist.
- Close joint accounts once final payments and checks have cleared.
- Close joint credit card accounts.
- Open your own checking and/or savings accounts.
- Open your own credit cards.
- Change your insurance policies and retirement accounts to reflect a new beneficiary.
- Revoke any existing powers of attorney.
- Change passwords to all your online accounts.
- Discuss new estate planning documents, like a will or living trust.
- Wait 30 days and request your credit report to verify joint accounts are closed.
- Request a final invoice from your attorney.
- Visit the DMV and have your driver’s license and vehicle registration name changed.
- Update your social security card with your new/former name
- Get a new passport.
- Update your bank accounts, credit cards, insurance records, employment records.
- If you hold any professional licenses, get them updated
- Update any IRS records.
Property and Assets
- Record any deeds to transfer title as ordered in the settlement agreement.
- Contact utility companies and advise of name updates.
- Get any funds held in escrow returned or transferred.
- Sign documents to vehicles, boats, RVs, etc. into your individual names and get a new title with the DMV.
- If you are moving, be sure to file a change of address and mail forwarding with the United States Postal Service.
- Make sure any retirement accounts have been divided according to the court’s ruling or your divorce agreement.
- If you need to secure COBRA or your own health coverage, start that process.
- If your ex-spouse was on your employer-issued policy, notify them of your change in status.
- Update any other insurance policies you may have (homeowner, auto, flood, etc.)
- As mentioned under name change, be sure to change beneficiaries on all insurance policies.
Once you are divorced, you will need to consider the tax implications of your new filing status. You may need to change your withholding allowances at work. Check the IRS withholding calculator to determine your new rate and whether quarterly payments will be required because of alimony or self-employment. If required under the terms of your settlement agreement, complete a Transfer of Dependency Exemption (IRS Form 8332).
To learn more about divorce, visit our Divorce Law page.
Related: Divorce Law
John C. Whitbeck, Jr. is the founder of WhitbeckBennett. His practice focuses on family law, special education law, and mental health law. He regularly practices in several jurisdictions in the Northern Virginia area. He has also been certified as an expert witness in litigation.