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Family law procedures to follow for post-divorce security

When one comes to the end of a negotiated divorce settlement in Pennsylvania, the residual tension from a long, embattled process may contribute to a depressed mood. However, by this point various things must be done to establish a solid foundation going forward. The participant in a family law divorce proceding will find it well worthwhile to make sure that the following basic steps are executed and in place.

All accounts must be updated to the post-divorce reality. Thus, if a woman opts for a name change, for example, she must notify all agencies and companies of the change, preferably in a formal written communication. Regarding the divorce, the individual must notify all concerned financial institutions and must at the same time see to it that the former spouse is taken off of all applicable accounts.

In addition, beneficiary designations on retirement, investment or insurance accounts must be changed if the former spouse is listed as the beneficiary. This must also be done if the divorce for any reason necessitates a change of beneficiary designations. Changes in the ownership or payout schedules of 401(k) or other retirement accounts may be determined by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, but to be safe make sure that the actual account papers have been conformed to the court documents. In addition, provide a copy of a QDRO to all affected institutions.

A recent divorced person must also open new accounts in his or her name alone, where necessary, such as checking, savings, credit cards and the like. At the same time, all accounts to be closed as part of the settlement will have to be closed with due haste. A divorced person will likely benefit by taking a sweeping look at all accounts, finances and legal documents to make sure that everything is in accordance with the family law settlement going forward. Whenever there is doubt on any issue, the individual will readily get answers and instructions from his or her Pennsylvania divorce attorney.

Source:, “How to Plan Your Finances After Getting a Divorce”, Emily Green, Dec. 2, 2017

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Louis Emmi

Louis Emmi