Protecting What You Value Most

3 things to do after your divorce is final

During a divorce you may put a lot of things on the back burner, thinking you will remember to do them after the divorce is final.

Make a post-divorce checklist and add the following three items.

1. Name change

If you decided to change your name, there are several entities to notify. They may include:

  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Creditors
  • Bank
  • Passport office
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Financial aid organization for student loans
  • Employer

To change your name with the SSA, fill out an application and submit the divorce decree. You may have to show proof of residence or citizenship.

2. Wills and trusts

Although Texas will treat your ex-spouse as having died before you for distributing the will, you might want to change it to prevent any confusion. If you wish to add your former spouse or his or her relatives, you must specify what they will inherit.

For trusts, divorce affects a revocable trust but not an irrevocable trust. You can change a revocable trust after it takes effect. You cannot modify an irrevocable trust after its creation without the consent of the beneficiaries.

3. Child support

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) handles child support. As part of the divorce decree, there is a court order for child support and the office needs this and other documents to set up an account.

If you are the noncustodial parent, the OAG’s Child Support Division sends an “Order to Withhold Income for Child Support” to your employer. Verify all information is correct. If you see anything wrong, contact your local Child Support Division.