Your divorce is final—what now? (part 2)

(continued…..)

Changing the Billing Address/Passwords, etc.  for Monthly Obligations:

Car loans, utilities, insurance policies, credit cards, and really anything that requires payments will need to be transferred to the Party that has the payment obligation. This may require Court Orders that specify passwords and access codes and billing information be provided to the other Party. It is better to have a specific divorce decree detaining as much as possible just in case the opposing party does not wish to cooperate.

Selling the Home/Refinancing the Home:

If the home is to be sold, the Party remaining in the home has a lot of work to clear it out and ready the home for showings. The realtor will have to work with both Parties to list the home, so both should  expect a deluge of electronic signature documents and disclosures. If the realty market is good, your realtor will probably tell you to sell it as is. If not, your realtor can recommend what must be done. If how maintenance and repairs would be paid for and reimbursed was not provided in your divorce orders, absent an agreement with your ex-spouse, repairs and maintenance will not be reimbursed. So, if you pay for repairs, you may not get the money back. Moving out means you must have a place for belongings (storage? A new home or apartment?) and you must make arrangements to collect your belongings. If possible, work with your ex-spouse to coordinate efforts and help each other. After all, selling the home often brings substantial money to both Parties and relieves both of the debt.

If you have been awarded the home and have a period of time in which to refinance the home, do not wait. Begin immediately by contacting lenders and brokers and start the process which can take many months and promises much aggravation. You will be collecting financial documents and updating everything—just like you had to do while going through the divorce. A quit claim deed will have to be signed by the ex-spouse and must be present at closing. Providing the quit claim deed to the title agent at the closing is the best route to protect all involved.

Refinancing a Vehicle: If a vehicle debt is in joint names, it will have to be sold, paid off or refinanced to remove the other Party’s name. Paying off a car is a nice idea but out of reach for many. Selling a car is also a nice way to be rid of the debt, but then the car is gone and a new one must be purchased. Also, selling a car for which more is owed, than it’s worth is a losing proposition—as is trading in an upside-down car. It makes no sense to trade in a joint vehicle that is upside down and get a new car for which the old car payment is included in the monthly obligation. That is often how out-of-reach, way too expensive car payments arise. However,

Refinancing can be difficult because the amount owed on vehicles is often less than the value. Once accomplished, though, the car is in only one name and that is what the divorce Court wanted. Start early. Find a lender. Work with your bank. Refinancing a vehicle may take several attempts, but most succeed eventually. 

Change Your Will/Life Insurance

Unless you want your ex-spouse to be rewarded upon your death, change your will and change the beneficiary of your life insurance. While the divorce is pending, these cannot be changed; but you can be prepared to change them immediately upon the divorce being granted.  Contact the life insurance provider to change the beneficiary upon a certain date or just find out what needs to be done to be ready to change the beneficiary. Find an attorney who can draft a new will—or one that can create an estate plan for substantial assets—so your wishes upon your death will be carried out as specified.

At The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson & Associates, PC, we are often asked by our Clients to remain on their case until everything is “wrapped up”. The very nature of divorce means that game playing is not unexpected, and sometimes those games come through lack of cooperation and a desire to hurt the other person. Leaving loose financial ends can definitely hurt especially when planning for a new future is derailed by old debts surfacing, ruined credit scores and incomplete deeds. We stay on our cases until our Clients let us know they can “take it from here”. 

If you are looking for a trusted, reliable, honest divorce attorney here in Colorado Springs, Jeanne M. Wilson is the top choice. Not only has she been awarded several honorable awards in the local community for the past several years, but her reputation also itself proceeds her. Simply see what all her past clients have raved about her and gather, firsthand, how productive and thoughtful her representation in the Family Law courts is for her Clients. Give Jeanne M. Wilson a call today to see if she is the right fit for your current divorce case. Jeanne is here to help!