On behalf of Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney at Law LLC posted in Divorce on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Most couples know that divorce is a grueling process; you spend weeks, possibly months, in court to split assets, decide child custody and establish the ending of a marriage. It affects your mental and physical health along the way.

That’s why so many couples are ecstatic when the ink finally dries on the divorce settlement, and they can finally put the divorce behind. Unfortunately, it’s not true. There are specific steps you need to take after finalizing your divorce before you run off into the sunset.

Your estate plan

No one likes updating their estate plan, especially after a messy separation. However, you need to make sure that you have the right people included in your will and a new power of attorney prepared. It ensures you have the right support system in the case of a tragic accident or illness.

Your bank account.

Most couples share at least one joint bank account, and it’s critical to update those accounts as soon as possible. You want to retitle the accounts and change the name as well. Usually, the bank will have you open an individual account and move your share of assets into that account. This also includes savings accounts, retirement funds or any financial matter you shared with your spouse.

Your insurance policy

If you are on a spouse’s medical or life insurance, you want to update to reflect the change in your relationship status. You could name another relative or your child to receive your insurance benefits instead, or you can just remove your former partner from your policy. Oftentimes, it only takes one phone call and a few documents to make this change.

Your legal name

Most people want to revert to their maiden name or change their surname after a divorce. Luckily, it’s a simple process in Missouri. First, you need to file a petition for a change of name and possibly have a hearing in court. Once you complete the hearing, the judge either allows you to change your name or not. If you receive permission, you will need to update your license and any other accounts attached to your previous name.

Once you update all these details, you are finally done with your divorce. You may still have to deal with your former significant other if you have children or share assets, but you can finally breathe a sigh of relief because you are officially starting your new life.