Recovering from a divorce is, of course, a process. Even when a Judgment of Dissolution is granted, it is generally not the end of the matter and further “loose ends” should be considered to close the divorce process. There are a number of details which, although often overlooked, are important to review. First, is there a transfer of real property to handle? The transfer of any real property which is the subject of the Judgment may require that one or both parties sign a deed and record the deed with the appropriate county recorder. Even if the real property is to be held by the parties until some future date or the sale of said property may not occur immediately. It is important to determine how the parties want the title of real property to be held. Frequently, a home is in “joint tenancy”, which means each party has equal ownership and upon the death of one of the parties, the living spouse becomes the sole owner of the entire property. An odd predicament given that the parties just had a Judgment of Dissolution granted.
Another detail that is often overlooked is life insurance policies. A review of the beneficiary designation needs to be made so changes can be made that conform to the Judgment. Many times other assets such as bank accounts or credit union accounts may have a “pay on death designee” or other designation should there be a death. Again, if overlooked, your now ex-spouse can still be the beneficiary or designee which can create problems if the owner spouse should pass away.
Certainly if a vehicle awarded to your former spouse is currently registered to both spouses, make sure the pink slip is delivered to your former spouse. Take care also to go to the nearest office of the Department of Motor Vehicles and fill out a Notice of Transfer form to indicate you are no longer an owner of this vehicle. This will ensure you are protected against liability as a registered owner of the vehicle in the event your former spouse might be involved in an accident and the car is either uninsured or under-insured. While your former spouse should re-register the vehicle, it may not be done in a timely fashion, thus, the Notice of Transfer should be completed.
These are but a few items that need to be considered so that all loose ends are completed and recovery can take place.