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After the Divorce

After your divorce judgment, or after you sign a settlement agreement, you may still have some details to finish up. Here are some things you might want to think about:


You will need to transfer ownership of vehicles as determined in your agreement, through DMV. 

Financial Accounts

Deal with all your joint credit card accounts. Sometimes these accounts are closed. Sometimes one Party removes themselves from the account if possible. Joint accounts and contents should be distributed according to the agreement.           

Personal Property

After your agreement, some personal property may need to be delivered or picked up that is meant to change hands pursuant to your agreement. If the agreement does not detail how the exchanges are to take place, you will need to make arrangements with your former spouse with the same respect and notice as you would a transaction with a complete stranger. 

Real Property

If any deeds are required under the agreement, make sure they are correctly executed and recorded. 

- Property held in one name to remain in that name: quitclaim deed form with the other person waiving all interest in the property.

- Property held in both names (jointly) that will be assigned to one name: interspousal transfer deed conveying one person’s interest to the other. 

- When property previously held jointly or as community property is joint to be sold or held together for a time, you may change the title so that after the agreement is signed the joint owners now own their shares of the property separately as tenants in common: grant deeds will convey it to yourselves in the new form of ownership.           

Pension Plans or Retirement Funds QDROs  

Follow through with the appropriate stipulated order (QDRO) for a tax-free transfer of community property interest and, if needed, a joinder of a pension plan to the plan administrator.

 Named beneficiaries

After the judgment, check the named beneficiaries on all funds, plans, insurance policies and account. A dissolution does not typically remove a spouse as a beneficiary of insurance policies on the life of the other spouse.  Be sure to contact your insurance carrier and discuss your beneficiaries after a dissolution.


 Review all wills and trusts, and modify or recreate them with the appropriate professional assistance.

Partnership interests

Partnership interests may be transferred and K-1 forms completed.


If your divorce decree will be granted in the following calendar year that your divorce petition was filed, make plans with your ex-spouse regarding your tax filing strategy for the tax year that you are still married.

 Other Considerations

Review Financial Planning. Often, one partner within the marriage handles the financial responsibilities.  In many cases one spouse has the primary relationship with the financial advisors that have been serving the marital finances. You may want to consider interviewing other financial service providers to find someone you feel comfortable with. 

Children’s Belongings. Children’s clothing and personal belongings are more difficult to separate than you might think. You may need to purchase extra clothing as well as furniture so the lifestyle transition is as easy as possible for the children. 

Textbooks/Homework and School Supplies.   Some items cannot be duplicated at each household. Parents must work together to ensure that school supplies are packed for every transition. Often times one parent is more familiarized with doing homework with the children. Both parents should learn how to take time with the kids, and be available to assist with homework.   Computers are often purchased by one parent or the other to augment the new household. 

Parenting Classes and Tutoring may be a consideration for parents who have not played an active role in the primary caregiving of the children. This includes everything from laundry, to food preparation, to laying out clothes and packing lunches.   The new level of responsibility can be overwhelming to the non-primary caregiving parent, however it can also be an opportunity for enhanced participation in the children's lives. 

Calendaring. A shared online calendar is an excellent way to keep up to date on important events and/or family planning changes that often come up throughout the year.


* GDC and its agents are not attorneys. No information provided on this website is intended as legal advice or counsel for a divorce or any matter, and should not be construed as such. Accordingly, the information on this site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, financial, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal, financial or other competent advisers. In no event will Go Divorce Clinic, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereof be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information presented in this site, or for any consequential, special or similar damages.