Your 'To Do' Checklist once you've obtained your Decree Absolute
So you have obtained Decree Absolute in your divorce proceedings, and you are now divorced. Alongside all the things your solicitor will tell you as standard, (for example, that you have lost rights to pension benefits or benefits under other schemes that you would otherwise have had as a spouse), there are other, more practical, things you should be thinking about post-Decree Absolute:
- Update your will.
If you have a will, Decree Absolute affects an existing will as it invalidates any gift to your former spouse (unless it is clear from the will that this gift is still to apply post-Decree Absolute). If you plan on remarrying later, you should also be aware that any will made before marriage is usually rendered invalid on marriage.
- Inform children’s schools.
You should keep your children’s schools up to date so that they can provide extra support should your child require it, or even so that they can monitor who is authorised to collect the child as this may change as a result of the divorce.
- Apply for a new passport.
You may have reverted to using your maiden name, and you should accordingly update your passport. Visit https://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport/overview to do so.
- Apply for a new driving licence.
You may have changed your name and address. Visit https://www.gov.uk/change-name-driving-licence for more information.
- Inform your mortgage lender and banks of any name change, and also of any need to close a joint account previously held (depending on your circumstances).
Sometimes you will need to produce a copy of your Decree Absolute to evidence the change.
- Update personal details with companies.
Utility companies, insurance policies, banks, doctors, dentist, employer, HMRC (https://www.gov.uk/tell-hmrc-change-of-details/change-name-or-address) and council tax.
- Keep your Decree Absolute safe.
You will need it to evidence the fact that you are free to remarry, for changes to the details which various companies hold for you and more. There is a small fee for the court to issue a further copy to you, but this can often take some time and may cause delay which you cannot afford.
How we can help
Our Wills and Probate department can assist you with reviewing or writing your will. Call 0330 0945 500 email email@example.com or complete our Contact Form and we'll get back to you.