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Aftermath of Divorce

Obtaining a final judgment of divorce in NJ is often a weight off a person’s shoulders. The ex-spouses may feel like the legal battle is over and both parties can start to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, the divorce process is not over with that court order. Once the divorce judgment is entered there are a number of tasks that each party will need to complete to make the divorce complete.You should speak to a NJ divorce lawyer to insure that every thing is completed.

Close Joint Credit Accounts

Close any joint credit card accounts you and your former spouse may have opened together. If there is no balance, simply close the account. If there is a debt, and one spouse has been assigned this debt in the divorce, it is vital that you stay informed by the credit card company about the status of the payments on that debt. Do not assume that your former spouse is paying the debt because he or she was assigned to do so. If your spouse fails to pay on a joint debt, your credit will be affected as well so it is in your best interest to ensure the payments are current.

Change Beneficiaries

If you have a life insurance policy, pension plan, retirement account, or other account with a beneficiary, review the beneficiaries that you have designated. If you wish to keep your spouse on your policy you may do so, or you may change to another person. Make sure you change the beneficiary on all policies.

Confirm Changes to Home Ownership Mortgage

If your ex-spouse is to remain in the marital home after divorce in NJ, you need to be removed from the mortgage. The spouse who remains in the home will refinance the mortgage, either with the existing lender or another lender in his or her name only. It is important to contact your current lender and obtain written confirmation that your name has been removed so you do not risk your credit or liability in case your ex-spouse fails to make payments or the property is foreclosed.


Change the deed of the property to only include the spouse who will retain ownership of the property to avoid potential liability related to the ownership of the home.

Arrange for Changes to Car Ownership Auto Loans

If a car is being financed by both spouses and is awarded to one spouse in the divorce judgment, the other spouse needs to be removed from the auto loan. Remember, if the loan remains in your name and your ex-spouse fails to make the payments on time, your credit is affected.

In some cases it is easier for both parties to sell the vehicle in question, which releases both parties from the auto loan so long as the sale price covers the amount of the loan. Another option is for the spouse who will keep the car to obtain a new loan, essentially refinancing the vehicle in his or her name.

Car Title

Both spouses will need to sign a form available from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to change the title to the vehicle.

Car Insurance

Obtain separate auto insurance for your vehicle. The owner of the vehicle is responsible if her or she drives an uninsured vehicle, so purchase your own policy so you know that the insurance is always current.

Change Your Name

If you have changed your name as part of the divorce, you still need to update that information with a host of government agencies and companies. Start with the Social Security Administration, then follow up with the Motor Vehicle Commission, and then everywhere else your name appears.

Divide Retirement Funds and Pensions

See our article titled “Qdro’s and Dro’s: Dividing Retirement, Savings and Pensions Plans in Divorce” located on our website.

Call Peter Van Aulen a NJ divorce lawyer at 201-845-7400 for a consultation if you have any questions about the steps that need to be taken after a divorce.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances