Divorce finalized: who to notify?

I’m in completely new territory here. I am the only person in my family ever to divorce, and none of my friends are divorced. My ex-husband and I are in a no-fault state and handled everything ourselves, so no lawyers were involved.

Now that the divorce is final, what more do I need to do? So far, I have notified my employer and changed the beneficiaries on things like life insurance and my 401(k). I’ve also gotten 5 official copies of the divorce decree, in case I need them.

What else should I do? Are there government offices that I should talk to, like Social Security or the IRS? Does it impact my driver’s license or airline information?

Any guidance would really help. Thanks.

If one of you moved out, you could get a " movers kit" at the post-office. That usually has a list of organizations etc to be notified.

You’ll have to identify EVERYTHING that has both your and your ex’s names on it, and either get the ex’s name removed, get your name removed, or cancel and get a new one in just one name, as the case may be. For example, if the electric bill is in the ex’s name and you are the only person living there, it should be switched to your name. Same with credit cards, phone bills, mortgages, leases, etc.

I went through this a couple years ago, also no-fault. If you are changing your name back, make sure you notify the Social Security office and get a new card as soon as you can. Also get a new drivers license with the name change. Notify all three credit reporting agencies of the name change and the date it was effective. Other than that, check with all your credit cards, and any other open accounts you have that are reported to credit agencies. This serves the purpose of not only making sure that your name is correct but also to make sure your ex-husband is no longer listed on any of these accounts and cannot in the future open a line of credit with your name on it.

If you’re moving out of a shared house, make sure you get copies of all the final ‘paid-in-full’ statements for things in both your names, like utilities and cable, etc. This one came back to bite me in the ass two years later when I found out the ex failed to pay a final utility bill.

Hit the bars!

Well, that is what I did.:wink:

Thanks for the advice, everyone. My ex moved out of the house and so I am taking care of utilities and things like that. The house is also up for sale right now, so that’s a whole 'nother adventure. I will make sure to get the “paid in full” statements for both of us when the time comes. (Wouldn’t have thought of that. Thanks, XJETGIRLX.)

Maastricht, thanks for the tip about the post office. I’ll check that out.

The only things which still have both our names on them are the title on the house, and our joint checking account. I will be keeping my married name (I hate my maiden name!), so that’s one less headache.

vetbridge: Done and DONE!

So, specifically for the IRS, can I go from “Married, filing jointly” to “Divorced,” with no additional paperwork?

Pretty much, yes. From here, your marriage status on the last day of the year determines your filing status. So next year you can file as single again. Also, since you’re not changing your name you shouldn’t have to file any additional forms with the IRS.

Just remember, from now on, for all paperwork you are ever asked to fill out, you will always be considered divorced, not single.

As far as contacting Social Security, I believe you do need to do this. I recall, (it was 8 years ago so my memory is rusty) going in there with my divorce papers and the judges notarized letter stating that my name be changed back to my maiden name.

Dammit, I hit submit too soon. I also wanted to add that you need to keep your divorce papers, forever. Lock them up in a safe or a safety deposit box. You will need them if you ever remarry and if you are applying for a mortgage loan.

When I was filling out my passport application I had to fill in my exes full name and birthdate. Not that you’d likely forget those things, but I almost did.
Oh and best wishes in your new life!

What exactly do you mean? Since my divorce, most forms I’ve encountered don’t have a listing for ‘divorced’, it’s usually just married or single. Once, at a doctor’s appointment a nurse asked me my status and when I told her I was divorced she winked and said, “We’ll just put down single”.

I can’t think of any instances, except applying for a future marriage license, where the difference between single and divorced for my current state of being would be an issue.

Well, I don’t think a doctor would be as concerned. But I was told at the time that anything that gave the option of checking “divorced” that I should do just that. Perhaps faulty information I don’t know. It never bothered me because I was more than happy to be rid of that monster.

You also might notify whoever carries your car insurance and homeowner’s insurance.

Best of luck!

I either of you have any outstanding debts in,joint names they, in almost all cases, cannot be changed until the debt has been satisfied, you’re both still responsible for the debt. If there’s any question of trust here, it might be smart to close any joint accounts and establish new ones, rather than just removing the name. You should definitely notify SS and change your withholding to reflect your new status.

This is true, even if the divorce decree assigns responsibility to only one of the parties. The creditors were not parties to the lawsuit, and thus the divorce decree does not alter the rights of the creditors to go after both parties. If, for example, your ex was ordered to pay a particular joint debt, but fails to do so, you could face collection activity on the debt. Your remedy would be a contempt action against the former spouse, which is just a pain in the ass.