Divorce can be a long and tiresome process. Usually, individuals going through a divorce anxiously await the day that the Divorce Decree is handed down because they feel that their depressing saga has finally ended and they can now get on with their lives. What they don’t realize is that often times the Divorce Decree is not the final step.
There may be many other important matters that need to be addressed after your divorce is finalized or you run the risk that the terms of the Postnuptial Agreement will be negated. For instance, if you fail to remove the ex-spouse as a beneficiary of employer issued life insurance, he/she may collect despite provisions in the Postnuptial Agreement which provide that the ex-spouse should have no interest in life insurance proceeds or other property of the spouse at death. Consequently, after a divorce, both parties should not only carefully review all beneficiary designations in life insurance policies, but they should also review their Wills, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives and Living Wills and make any necessary changes. Additionally, it is important to make revisions to retirement plans, IRA’s and joint accounts to avoid unintended consequences as well as expensive litigation.
As a final precaution, you also need to insure that the former spouse has no ability to charge obligations on any credit cards, lines of credit or other instruments which may result in your financial liability. Not doing so can result in costly litigation or even force you into bankruptcy in order to get out from under your ex-spouse’s debt.
So, when you think it’s finally over and you’ve got that hard earned divorce decree; think again, and be sure to look carefully at the details to be sure that all ties between you and your ex-spouse have been severed.