9 Documents that need Changing After Divorce
With the elation that you have a final divorce decree and you no longer have to go to court or deal with that dastardly lawyer anymore, many people will go on about their business. In reality, there are some “post-game” tasks that need to be dealt with and many people don’t handle these chores until they it’s either too late or it simply comes up. Some of these items can be problematic if not dealt with.
Social Security Card. If a name change was included in your divorce decree, you will need to get a new social security card to reflect the name change. Yes, it’s a chore. But try not having a social security card with your correct name on it.
Driver’s License. Your driver’s license is your primary means of identification. This should be first on your list. Texas DPS has opened driver’s license mega centers that allow you to get in line online and not have to wait for hours. It’s not as hard as it used to be.
Property Titles/Vehicle Titles. These documents will need to reflect your name change if you want to be able to transfer them in the future.
W-4 & Any Other Work Documents. You’re now single. The status change needs to reflected on your withholding. Also, if your HR department gives out benefits based on the number in the household, they might require that be changed.
Retirement Plans & Life Insurance. Change marital status, but you must change beneficiaries. Think about an unexpected demise where your ex gets a payday. Not a pleasant thought.
Will & Trust. Again, make sure your beneficiaries are updated and that these documents reflect your new marital status. Also, do you have a relative that was going to leave something to your now ex-spouse? Maybe state in passing that you changed your will to nudge others to do the same if your ex was included.
Medical Treatment Authorization & Consent Forms for Children. As your new status might alter the situation for your children, you want to make sure that they can get the proper care no matter who is taking care of them.
Medical Power of Attorney. You’re going to need to update who has the decision making power should you become incapacitated.
HIPPA Authorizations at your doctors’ offices. If these forms reflect allowing information to be given to your ex-spouse, you might want to change this. Just because you have the decree, it doesn’t mean you won’t end up in court again. If you have children, it’s highly likely.
By no means an exhaustive list of things to change after divorce, but it’s a good place to start if you’re in this situation.