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Steps to take after a divorce is finalized

Typically, there are still actions that need to be taken after a divorce in Pennsylvania has formally concluded. First, it will be important to make changes to a health care policy. If a person was on a former spouse's policy, it will be necessary to find a new individual policy. If a spouse was on his or her ex's policy, that person will need to be removed as soon as possible.

Any assets that were awarded in a divorce will likely need to have their titles changed. If one person is keeping the family home after the marriage ends, it may be necessary to refinance the mortgage as well as process a quit claim deed. It may also be necessary to refinance a car, boat or another joint loan to reflect the fact that one person now owns it.

Retirement assets may also need to be updated to reflect the fact that they are in an individual's name only. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) will need to be drafted if retirement assets are to be split in a final divorce decree. Individuals may also want to open their own bank and brokerage accounts after their marriages come to an end. Finally, those who are divorced may want to use their former name on insurance, government and other documents.

When a marriage ends, marital property will generally be divided in an equitable manner between both parties. An attorney may help a person evaluate whether a settlement is in his or her best interest. For instance, taking a portion of a retirement account may be better than taking ownership of a house even if the assets have the same value. This is because they may appreciate differently or be treated differently for tax purposes.

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