You made it. (Take a Breath…you deserve it) The divorce process can be long and grueling, and I am sure by now your ‘divorce brain’ is at its peak. So now what? You have been laser focused on completing this one task and now that it’s done you get to choose what happens next, BUT FIRST you want to make sure that you IMPLEMENT that divorce decree that you have worked so hard to finish. I know, I know it is probably the last thing you want to touch or deal with. Your idea of implementation is likely to make the changes to accounts you need access to right away and put the rest on the back burner to deal with later. Yes, take a break and allow yourself some time to relax from it all…but do not let a year roll by before you touch it again.
I encourage you to finish the end of this process and avoid dragging it out longer than necessary. I promise, attempting to implement months or years later is significantly more challenging. There are a handful of crucial things that should be done…and the best part is, your CDFA® can help you or put you in contact with the professionals that can.
Unless you and your spouse maintained separate finances, you are likely going to need to remove your ex-spouse from some bank and investment accounts. If you received a portion of your ex-spouse’s ERISA retirement plan that requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to split the asset, you DO NOT want to delay. These can take time and delaying may require additional legal steps to get the process started.
As you begin reviewing and re-registering your accounts, don’t forget to also review your beneficiary designations. Your IRA or 401k may only have your name on the account but at your passing that particular asset will transfer to whomever is listed as your beneficiary. Consider meeting with an estate attorney to update all your documents, they can also direct you on how best to update all beneficiary designations.
You may find yourself making financial decisions that you never made before. Ask questions and get guidance, it will take time to build confidence in handling your finances. The right financial advisor can help to educate and guide you through building your new financial future. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and to learn, you are capable!
For more information or details on how to implement the pieces of your divorce contact Next Step Divorce Solutions today.