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My Divorce Was Just Finalized, What Is The Most Important Thing I Do Next?

One of the best things you can do after your divorce is finalized is to read through your divorce judgment and property settlement. You want to make sure that you understand what these documents say, and that they reflect your understanding of what the outcome of the divorce would be. If you find any omissions, errors, or have questions about what anything in these documents means, you should ask your attorney for help.

Do I Need To Do With My Bank Accounts?

By the time your divorce is final you have likely closed your joint bank accounts. If any remain open, you should contact the bank and instruct them to divide the account according to the terms of your divorce judgment.

How Do I Handle Joint Credit Card Accounts?

If a card does not have balance, simply close the account. If the card has a balance, it has probably been assigned to one spouse in the divorce settlement. If your former spouse has to pay the debt, it is important that you stay up to date on whether or not the payments are being made, because if your ex does not pay on time, it will affect your credit as well as his or hers.

What Changes Need To Be Made To The Ownership Of My House?

The spouse who remains living in the marital home after divorce usually must pay for the costs of the home. Typically the spouse who keeps the house will refinance the mortgage in his or her sole name, removing the other spouse from the loan. If you are supposed to be taken off of the mortgage, make sure you follow up with the mortgage company and ensure it was done. The spouse who will not keep the house should also be removed from the deed to the house and the insurance, and confirm the appropriate changes were made.

What Happens To My Car?

If you were awarded a vehicle in your divorce settlement, you may have also been given the responsibility of making the payments on the car. If that is the case, you should have your former spouse removed from both the loan and the title to the car. As with other assets we discuss in this article, it is important to make sure you have been taken off any assets that you are no longer responsible for, as your former spouse’s failure to pay can affect your credit.

You should also ensure that you have your own separate insurance policy on the car.

How Do I Follow Up On Changing My Name?

If you have changed your name as part of the divorce, you need to take several additional steps to change the name on record with various government and private institutions. The first step is to change it with the Social Security Administration to get a new Social Security Card, then the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office for a new Driver’s License. Then, you can use those two documents to update your name with banks, your employer, credit companies, insurance companies, voter registration, and more.

If you have questions on how to follow up after your divorce is final, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free initial consultation at 201-845-7400 today.


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Peter Van Aulen is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney.

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