Steps to Take After Divorce

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Once you have received your filed judgment from the court, your divorce is over, but your work is not necessarily done. If you elect to resume using a previous name, you will need to change your driver's license, vehicle titles and registration, passport and social security card.

For information to change the name on your driver's license, visit the DMV website.

We suggest clients make an ongoing checklist as they remember other items that will need name changes. Examples of some of these items are: auto or other insurance, bank accounts, schools, daycare facilities, credit cards, employers, health care providers, pension and retirement plans, utility bills, and so forth.

Once a divorce is final, you should take care to remove your former spouse from any insurance policies that you will maintain. Be sure to remove any automobiles that your former spouse has been awarded, as well. Verify whether your former spouse is still listed as a beneficiary under any continuing life insurance policies.

Joint credit cards are often overlooked, so do not make that mistake. Close all joint credit cards and open new accounts in your own name. Obtain a credit report about six months after doing so to ensure that there are no outstanding joint credit cards. Divide your assets right away, according to the terms of the judgment. Be fair and prompt with your former spouse as the Court has continuing jurisdiction over the division of assets and can sanction a party for improper conduct.

Last, but certainly not least, you would be surprised to learn how many people forget to change their wills, trusts and health care directives after a divorce is final. Don't be one of those knuckleheads!

If you have a specific question about enforcing a judgment in California, or would like to obtain a change of name after a divorce is final, you can reach our team by calling 949-345-1621 or by completing a short online contact form. Flexible appointments are available by request.