financial recoveryDivorce is a traumatic event not only emotionally. It can leave lasting financial scars if you don’t take action immediately. Here is about financial recovery after divorce. 

Find a counselor/therapist or a divorce coach to help you re-establish a happy and fulfilling life for yourself.

The same goes for finding financial recovery after divorce. Lawyers close your file when your divorce decree is issued and you are left on your own to figure out how to put your divorce financial agreements to work, heal your bruised credit and take steps to start building a successful financial future.

Today, I will share with you a list of action steps to execute your divorce agreement, cross your T’s and dot your I’s.

Financial Recovery After Divorce –  Checklist:

Date of Your Divorce/Legal Separation Degree:__________

  1. Get a copy of your Divorce Decree
  2. If you are changing your name, update the following docs:

____ Driver’s license, title and registration
____ Social security card

____ Passport

____ Driver’s license, title and registration

____ IRS records

____ Insurance policies (auto, life, health, home)

____ Employer’s records
____ Credit cards
____ Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
____ Professional licenses
____ Title to real property
____ Utility bills

  1. Secure a health insurance coverage (COBRA or individual health insurance)
  2. Close joint accounts: (bank accounts, credit cards, joint safety deposit box, etc.)
  3. Open a new bank and credit card account
  4. Divide up retirement and investment accounts:
    1. IRAs, Roth IRA and Brokerage accts

you will generally need to provide the acct custodian a copy of your Divorce Decree and Separation Agreement)

  1. 401Ks, pension plans and other qualified plans

You will need to have a qualified atty draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This should be completed before your divorce gets finalized. The atty will send the QDRO to the court for a signature and then to the plan administrator. You will receive a letter to provide instructions how you wish to receive your share of the funds.

  1. Refinance mortgage, transfer titles
  2. Retitle vehicles, refinance car loans
  3. Change the beneficiaries on life insurance, 401k, pensions and IRA accounts
  4. Write and execute new will, trust, and powers of attorney
  5. Order a new copy of your credit report after joint accounts are closed. Review the information and dispute any inaccuracies. Follow up.
  6. Meet with Financial Planner to help you implement your new budget, transfer assets, create a debt mngt plan, etc.
  7. Meet with Tax Accountant to help you:
  8. Revise tax exemptions, then update your W4
  9. Get set up on quarterly tax pmnts (if you are receiving taxable spousal maintenance)

___Decide with your ex on a safe place to keep your children’s important docs

(birth certificates, SS cards, health ins cards, passports, etc.)

___Establish an online parenting calendar

___Keep records of all child support payments received or made

___Update your mailing address

You can find detailed information on property division and divorce finances in my book The Bedroom Elephant: A Guide to Successful Divorce at