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Documents to Update After a Divorce

Posted by David J. Kavanaugh | Oct 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Many people find the process of divorce exhausting. However, once the divorce is finalized there is still work to do. There are many documents that should be updated post-divorce. We discuss many of these below.

Call Your Treating Physician's Office

During the time you were married, it is extremely likely you saw a medical professional. While there, you were probably asked to sign a form authorizing the release of medical information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is likely you listed your spouse as the person authorized to receive your medical information. You probably also listed your spouse as the person to contact in case of an emergency. Unless you still want them notified, change this.

Speak with Your Employer

Your spouse was probably similarly listed as the emergency contact at your place of employment. Take a few moments to speak with the Human Resources Department to adjust this on any forms they may keep on file. While you are there, you may want to fill out a new W-4. The information on your W-4 is used to determine your tax withholding. You may wish to adjust your withholdings to reflect your single status.

Review Your Financial Accounts

Start at the bank. It is not enough to remove your spouse as a signer on your accounts. Even on accounts where your spouse was never a signer, there may be some action that needs to be taken. When you set up those accounts, you may have signed a “pay on death” form, indicating who should inherit the money in the account upon your death.

Additionally, check the designated beneficiaries on the following accounts.

  • 401K
  • Deferred compensation
  • Other retirement plans
  • Life insurance polices
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Stocks
  • Annuities

Unless you want your spouse to inherit these accounts, you need to change the name of your designated beneficiary.

Titles to Property

In many divorces, one spouse is awarded the family home, a vacation home, the car, stocks, or some other property. Make certain to remove your spouse's name from the title to these properties. If you fail to remove your spouse's name, it could lead to complications later. This may mean that you have to refinance the property to get your spouse off of the note and mortgage.

If You Change Your Name

If you choose to change your last name as part of your divorce, you have some additional paperwork to do. Start with identification cards. These may include the following.

  • Driver's license
  • Passport
  • Employee ID card
  • Credit cards
  • Social security card

Considering Divorce?

If you are considering divorce, contact the legal team at Frost & Kavanaugh. We handle divorce and family law cases, and have been for more than 25 years. We recognize divorce can be a painful process. As such, we work hard to offer efficient, effective solutions to your divorce challenges. When need be, we litigate divorce cases. However, oftentimes, divorce cases can be negotiated without the need for a public court battle. Call us today to schedule a consultation at 518-283-3000.

About the Author

David J. Kavanaugh

Dave graduated from Siena College in 1986 with a B.A. in Political Science, and from Western New England School of Law in 1991 where he received his law degree.  He worked as an Albany County Probation Officer between college graduation and his entry into law school. Dave was admitted to practic...


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