Your Judgment of Divorce has been signed. BUT... have you finalized the details?

So, you are officially divorced! Have you taken care of all of the "details"? You ask, "what details"? If you have recently finalized your divorce, there are important matters that need to be addressed to wrap up your divorce. Just remember, details matter!

Now that the divorce is complete you should review the following list of items that should not be overlooked after your divorce:

1.         Check all of your health, life, disability, auto, home, insurance policies to make changes in coverage or name different beneficiaries as might be appropriate.

2.         Check all of your IRA's, SEP's, 401K's, profit sharing, retirement accounts, or other retirement and/or pension plans to make changes in coverage or name different beneficiaries as might be appropriate.

3.         As to medical insurance (COBRA) coverage for yourself, or health care insurance coverage for your children which is to be carried by your former spouse, you should follow through on checking with the appropriate person to make sure that forms have been filled out and that you or the children are properly covered.

4.         If the Judgment of Divorce requires your former spouse to maintain life insurance to secure any of the provisions within the Judgment of Divorce, Michigan Law requires that you follow-up in writing with the life insurance company. You will be required to supply them with a copy of the Judgment of Divorce or a letter outlining your former spouse's obligations under the terms of the Judgment of Divorce, and clearly indicate that the policy is to be maintained as required by the Judgment of Divorce. Again, this must be done in writing, otherwise the insurance company may be able to avoid their liability.

5.         You should check the titles to all of your property and make sure they correctly reflect your name as required by the Judgment of Divorce. Or, you need to sign any papers necessary to have your name removed from the title of property as the Judgment of Divorce may require.

6.         As to any pension, IRA, or other retirement funds to which you are now entitled under the Judgment of Divorce, you should make contact directly with the pension plan administrator to make sure that the Judgment of Divorce has been complied with, and that the funds have been appropriately transferred as the Judgment of Divorce requires.

7.         If you have a Will, you need to review it for appropriate revisions. If you do not have a Will, now would be a good time to make one.

8.         You need to review your tax withholding and/or your estimate tax payments for any necessary adjustments which may need to be made a result of funds you receive under the Judgment of Divorce, or to reflect your new single status.

Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC is a West Michigan family law attorney specializing in collaborative divorce as well as separation, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, and other family law litigation. She is licensed by Michigan State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and has extensive advanced training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce.

Contact Laurie at (616) 608-4634 for a confidential consultation.