What Documents Need Updating After an Illinois Divorce?
Although many people find love in their lifetimes, not all couples live happily ever after. The most recent census data and statistics show that approximately 40 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Whether you were married for a few months or a few decades, you may still have the same issues to determine. One of the most important aspects of any divorce is determining who gets what once the papers are signed. In some cases, spouses may agree to divide their assets on their own. In other scenarios, a couple cannot reach a mutual decision and therefore the court gets involved, with a judge making a determination based on the equitable distribution method, which means marital property is split fairly but not necessarily in half. Once the divorce decree or settlement is finalized and you and your spouse part ways, it may be necessary to update important financial and healthcare documents.
Preparing for Single Status Again
The thought of being single again after marriage can be frightening and exhilarating all at the same time. Naturally, you might be so focused on the emotional part of your relationship ending, that you do not even think about all the documents or paperwork that goes along with the dissolution of your marriage from a legal standpoint. One of the first things that need updating to reflect your new marital status is your last name. This would only apply if you are a female who wishes to start using your maiden name again. The court can include this name change as part of the divorce decree. If it is not included, you will need a certified copy of your divorce judgment from the circuit clerk to change your name.
Once your last name is officially changed, personal identification and records will need to be updated, including but not limited to the following:
- Social Security card
- Driver’s license/state ID/passport
- Bank accounts (savings, checking)
- Retirement plans
- Credit cards
- Mortgage title/deed or rental lease
- Utility bills (phone, gas, electric, water)
- Life and/or health insurance policies
- Voter registration
- Will/trust/power of attorney
Revising any of your estate planning documents can be done by taking your ex-spouse’s name off of it since you likely will not want him or her to have the authority to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf anymore. Be sure to include the names of any new beneficiaries, such as adding your children or a sibling. In addition, if you have children together, alerting their schools or daycare centers of your marital status is crucial for emergency contacts.
Contact a Mt. Prospect Divorce Attorney
While you may have contemplated getting a divorce for several months or even years, once you file the petition to dissolve your marriage, there are numerous issues to resolve. At The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, we are well-versed in Illinois divorce law, including preparing for life after it is finalized. Our seasoned Northwest Cook County divorce lawyer will guide you through the legal process of ending your marriage so you can move on to your next chapter. Call us today at 847.873.6741 to schedule your free consultation.