A North Carolina divorce is a stressful, emotional process, and you will probably feel immense relief when you receive your final divorce decree. However, you still have loose ends to tie up before your divorce is really complete. Your final divorce decree specifies who gets which assets, but it is up to you and your ex-spouse to transfer those assets into proper ownership. You may also need to complete other tasks before you can start your new life as a single person.
Change Your Name
If you are changing your name after your divorce, contact the Social Security Administration to get a social security card that reflects your new name.
Apply for a driver's license with your new name and address if you have moved.
Contact your creditors and update your information. If you had joint bank accounts or credit cards with your ex-spouse, close those and open accounts in your new name. Do not forget to switch automatic bill pay to your new accounts and change all your passwords.
Transfer Titles and Deeds to Property
Your house and vehicles are some of your most valuable assets, and, if you owned these jointly with your ex-spouse, you will have to transfer the deed and titles into the appropriate name.
If you were granted the house in your divorce decree, your ex-spouse needs to execute a Quit Claim deed to transfer the property into your name. Or, if your ex-spouse was granted the house, you need to do the same. Contact your mortgage company and notify them of the changes.
If you rent, contact your landlord and have your ex-spouse's name removed from the lease.
Change the titles of your motor vehicles into the name specified in the divorce decree. Then, contact your loan and insurance companies to update ownership information. Ensure that your name is removed from any loans that are no longer your responsibility.
Health insurance is often overlooked after a divorce. If you were covered under your ex-spouse's policy, apply for your own coverage or COBRA coverage through your ex-spouse's insurance company.
Update your will and life insurance policies.
Obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and split retirement and pension plans as specified in your divorce decree. This can take months to complete, but you should not delay in starting the process in case your ex-spouse changes jobs or closes the account. Your North Carolina divorce attorney can assist you with obtaining the QDRO.
Schedule a day with your ex-spouse to take care of all the tasks you need to handle together, such as notarizing titles and closing bank accounts.
Hire an Experienced North Carolina Divorce Attorney
Although taking all the steps to finalize asset transfers can be tedious, this process ensures your financial future. Your divorce attorney can assist you with those tasks that have a legal component and can provide you with legal guidance as you begin your new life as a single person.