Despite being exhausted after going through a divorce, many new ex-spouses in California feel ready to make a fresh start. Part of starting anew involves making certain changes in a timely fashion. Just because the paperwork is signed and a person has the divorce decree in their hands, this does not mean that assets are divided and everything is over.
There are quite a few tasks that recently divorced individuals need to tackle in the time following the divorce to be sure that everything is separated properly. For example, an individual who had taken their partner's name will want to address the change. The ex will have to request a certified copy of the divorce judgment right away. They will need to change their name on their Social Security card, driver's license and any other place where their name is listed.
Assets may need to be retitled. If the family home was given to one of the spouses, the title of the home should be changed. A "quit claim" deed is used to do this. The home mortgage may need to be refinanced. Retitling may also be necessary for cars, boats, trailers and motorcycles. This can be done through the local DMV.
In addition, all joint accounts should be split. This includes bank, property, brokerage and retirement accounts. A copy of the divorce decree will likely be necessary when splitting an IRA. Expenses and debts that are shared by the couple will also need to be split.
An individual who has finalized their divorce may still benefit from working with a family law attorney. The attorney could advise the client on property division laws, asset valuation and shared accounts.