A post-divorce checklist

 An excerpt from Lawpack's Separation & DIY Divorce Kit.

After a divorce, there are some basic steps you and your ex-spouse must take so you can separate as cleanly as possible both financially and legally:

1. Obtain from the divorce court your final divorce decree. 

You may need this to transfer property, divide bank accounts, etc.

2. Consider whether to apply for a financial court order. 

In Scotland, you need to consider this before you are divorced, as once you are divorced it's too late.

3. Divide up the household contents as soon as possible after the divorce.

They may otherwise disappear no matter what your financial agreement says. In Scotland, this is usually done well before the divorce is issued.

4. Close any joint bank and savings accounts. 

Again in Scotland, this is usually done at an earlier stage, often when the parties enter into a separation agreement.

5. Estimate utility bills if you don't have a final bill. 

Also destroy all joint credit and charge cards, or surrender them to the credit card company (if you didn't do this at separation) and notify it that you no longer have responsibility for new debts of your former spouse. Finally, open new accounts in your name alone and with a change of address, if applicable.

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Published on: October 25, 2010

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