By Carla Fraser
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Important Matters Post-Divorce

A divorce is an incredibly stressful situation for the majority of separating couples and the process itself can be very hard on all parties. However, it is important that even after the divorce has been granted, you remain focused on tying up any loose ends and making sure that any last connections that might cause future complications have been cut.

If you are recently divorced – or about to be – then below are some tips on what you need to lake care of after your divorce has been finalised. Your Will. Even if your divorce was entirely amicable, there will no doubt be something of an adjustment when it comes to how you want to leave property after your death.

Your ownership of property and assets will also most likely have changed since splitting with your partner and this also needs to be reflected in an official legal document. If you do still want to leave anything to your former spouse then there are good reasons why this needs to be recorded in a new Will – for example, with respect to anything gifted under the old Will, this will be treated as if your former spouse had died on the date of the divorce/civil partnership dissolution. Insurance: Any insurance policies that you have taken out jointly need to be separated so that both parties have their own cover. This must take account of who now owns the asset – for example, where the insurance policy was taken out on a mortgage, the partner who now owns the property will need to take over the policy.

Where your ex-spouse is named as a beneficiary on your insurance this will need to be amended and the amount of cover may also need to change to take account of different incomes. If your ex-spouse is going to be making regular payments as a result of the divorce settlement then it may be worth taking out insurance to protect those payments in case anything should happen to prevent them being made.

Name change: Once the divorce has been finalised it should in theory be simple to make name changes. On production of a marriage certificate that shows the maiden name, as well as the decree absolute, most financial institutions and companies should simply make the alteration on demand.

However, where this is not the case the name will need to be changed by deed poll. If you are changing your name then this amendment should be made everywhere, from credit cards and employment records to tax and national insurance databases and property titles. Pensions: If you have a pension fund you would be advised to talk to your pension administrator about the identity of the beneficiary of the fund If this is not who you want it to be, you will be given advice on how to change that arrangement.

It is important that the beneficiary remains in accordance with your wishes. There are a number of other, lesser loose ends left by any divorce that are better tied up now rather than left for a future time. For example, closing joint bank accounts and joint credit cards, removing names from mortgages, transferring property titles, such as that for a home or a car, into a single name, setting up direct debits for child support and executing new powers of attorney to replace old documents. Whilst administration might be the last thing that you want to deal with after a divorce, handling all of this quickly now will make it much easier to move on in the future.

At PA Duffy Solicitors we have the expertise to assist with all matters. Please contact Carla Fraser who will be happy to assist.

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