Steps to take after your divorce

Oct 20, 2015 | Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Minnesota Family Law, Parenting Time

Just because the divorce is final does not mean the work is done.  Here are some of the steps needed after a divorce:


  • Obtain copies of your divorce decree. A plain copy may be provided by your lawyer or the court. Certified copies can be purchased from the courthouse.
  • Sign and exchange any titles, deeds, or other documents as required by your decree.
  • Confirm that all necessary documents are being prepared regarding division of retirement accounts or transfer of real estate.
  • Organize your divorce papers and file away in a safe place.

General Tasks:

  • Contact the Post Office to complete a change of address and forward mail.
  • If your name was changed, take the steps necessary to complete the process.
  • Inform your Human Resource Manager about your divorce to update your name, tax filing status, benefits, and direct deposits.
  • Update your health insurance by removing your ex from your policy, applying for COBRA coverage, or finding a new policy.


  • Record all transfers of real estate by filing the Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment or Quit Claim Deed with the appropriate property office.
  • Re-register motor vehicles and other titled property in your name alone.
  • Update authorizations and ownership on open credit accounts, safe deposit boxes, utilities, and other accounts.
  • Close any remaining joint accounts.


  • Adjust your tax withholding to reflect your new marital status.
  • Consult a tax professional to review tax implications of your divorce.
  • Remember: if you receive spousal maintenance you will be taxed for those payments

Retirement and Investments:

  • If you were awarded some of your spouse’s retirement account(s), make sure a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is drafted and submitted.
  • Consider working with a financial professional to review your investment plan.

Estate Planning:

  • Complete an “Estate Audit”
  • Review life insurance policies and update beneficiary designations.
  • Create or revise your estate plan, including a will and/or trust, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive.
  • Discuss with your attorney provisions related to the care of your children.

 If You Have Minor Children:

  • Apply for Automatic Income Withholding for child support payments.
  • Keep track of all out of pocket medical expenses and reimbursements. Regularly exchange receipts and arrange payment with the other parent.
  • Include the Parenting Time schedule on your calendar. Consider displaying the schedule for the children.
  • Consider setting up a shared online calendar for the children’ schedule.