Once you have received your filed judgment from the court, your divorce is over, but your work is not necessarily over.
If you elect to resume using a previous name, you will need to change your driver’s license, vehicle title(s) and registration(s), passport and social security card.
- For information as to changing the name on your driver’s license: Click Here
- For information as to changing the name on a Certificate of Title: Click Here
- For information as to changing the name on a passport: Click Here
- For information as to changing the name on a social security card: Click Here
I suggest that client’s make an ongoing checklist as they remember other items that will need name changes. An example of some of these items are: auto or other insurances, bank accounts, schools, daycare facilities, credit cards, employers, health care providers, pension and retirement plans, utility bills, and so forth.
Once a divorce is final, you should take care to remove your former spouse from any insurance policies that you will be continuing with. Be sure to remove any automobiles that your former spouse has been awarded as well. Verify whether your former spouse is still listed as a beneficiary under any continuing life insurance policies.
Joint credit cards are often overlooked, so don’t make that mistake. Close all joint credit cards and open new accounts in your own name. Obtain a credit report about 6 months after doing so, to ensure that there are no outstanding joint credit cards.
Divide your assets right away, according to the terms of the judgment. Be fair and prompt with your former spouse as the court has continuing jurisdiction over the division of assets and can sanction a party for improper conduct.
Last, but certainly not least…you’d be surprised how many people forget to change their wills, trusts and health care directive after a divorce is final. Don’t be one of those knuckleheads!
If you have a specific question about enforcing a judgment in California, or would like to obtain a change of name after a divorce is final, please call Robin C. Huggins, Attorney/Partner of the Family Law department of Kring & Chung, LLP. She can be contacted at (949) 261-7700 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.