What to do after a divorce

California spouses who are going through a divorce may be relieved when the process is over. However, they should be aware that there are certain actions they will have to take after the divorce to ensure that everything is in order so that they will be able to get on with their new lives as unmarried individuals.

One of the first tasks is to split all of the joint accounts. It may be necessary to open new individual accounts to hold one’s share. A new divorcee should also update the account titles for all non-retirement assets so that they are under only their name; this applies to brokerage accounts, bank accounts and real estate.

Another important task after a divorce is dividing any retirement accounts. For retirement accounts other than IRAs, a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, will have to be completed. This form is typically completed by an attorney and has to be given to the administrators of the retirement accounts.

In order to properly divide an IRA, the custodian of the account will have to complete its own form. Individuals should be prepared to provide a copy of their divorce decree so that the custodian will know how to divide the IRA. Divorcees may have to create a new IRA to hold their share of the assets.

A family law attorney may advise a client about which legal steps should be taken to resolve divorce disputes regarding spousal support, the division of community property and other related legal issues. After the finalization of a divorce, the attorney may complete the legal documents required to divide certain types of assets, such as retirement accounts, properly.

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