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Important Steps to Take Once Your Illinois Divorce is Finalized

By Nottage and Ward on June 2, 2011

Recently, The Boston Globe featured an article that noted several important steps a newly divorced person should be sure to take once their divorce is finalized to protect themselves and their financial future.

First, you should close all joint credit accounts that you shared with your now ex-spouse. Be sure all your credit card bills and/or debts are paid and are closed, either by yourself or your ex-spouse if they are responsible. You should also close all joint bank accounts you previously shared and open new checking and savings accounts in your separate name. Failing to do so could have serious repercussions for your finances and credit score. If appropriate, change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before opening new accounts.

You should also change the beneficiary listed on all your life insurance policies. It may be necessary to change the beneficiary as directed by the divorce decree. Additionally, change the beneficiaries on all of your retirement and pension accounts.

Be sure to create a new will and/or trust. If needed, designate a guardian for your children. You also need to update your healthcare proxy as well as your power of attorney documents. You will need to go over your tax withholding allowances and may need to modify these with your employer.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, working with your Chicago divorce attorney can help you understand what items you need to take care of once your divorce has been finalized. At Nottage and Ward, our lawyers have exclusively practiced family law for over 20 years. We understand the complexities of the divorce process in Illinois, and can answer any questions you have regarding what happens before, during, and after a divorce. To find out how we can help you, call 312-332-2915 today.

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